The father of a first-grade student who was shot and killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook school massacre has died of an apparent suicide.
The Hartford Courant reports that Jeremy Richman was found dead Monday in his office at Edmond Town Hall. Police told the newspaper that the death appears to be a suicide, although the cause of death is still being investigated.
Richman, 49, was found at about 7 a.m. by a janitor. His daughter, Avielle Richardson, was killed on December 14, 2012 at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, when Adam Lanza opened fire at the school, killing 20 young children and six adults.
Shortly after the massacre, Richman and his wife Jennifer Hensel started the Avielle Foundation, reportedly a science-driven nonprofit dedicated to identifying the root causes of mental illnesses that can lead to violence, and erasing stigma associated with mental health issues. The foundation has an office at the Edmond Town Hall in Newton where Richman was found Monday morning.
“He had such a clear purpose of what he wanted to do to honor his daughter,” a family member of a Sandy Hook shooting victim told the Hartford Courant. “I’m just shocked. I’m sitting in my car right now crying. The foundation was doing really important work and was doing such good things.”
Richman’s death comes days after the news that two survivors of the Parkland school shooting in February 2018 died of apparent suicides. As CrimeOnline previously reported, 19-year-old Sydney Aiello, a 2018 graduate of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High school who lost a close friend in the shooting, died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound earlier this month. On Saturday, a sophomore at the high school, who remains unidentified, died of an apparent suicide.
Anyone in crisis is urged to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, which is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
[Feature image: Jennifer Hensel, holding a portrait of her daughter Avielle Rose Richman, stands with her husband Jeremy Richman. AP Photo/Jessica Hill]