With 2 Funerals for 6-Year-Old Boys, Stunned Town Begins Saying Farewell to Shooting Victims - NBC New York

With 2 Funerals for 6-Year-Old Boys, Stunned Town Begins Saying Farewell to Shooting Victims



    Jack Pinto, 6, Remembered

    The crowd for 6-year-old Jack Pinto's funeral was so large, the building couldn't fit everyone who wanted to pay their respects to the little boy who loved football and the Giants' Victor Cruz. Brian Thompson reports. (Published Monday, Dec. 17, 2012)

    A Connecticut town shocked by the violent school shooting rampage that left 20 children and six women dead at an elementary school began burying the littlest victims on Monday, remembering two 6-year-old boys by the simple details of their short lives.

    The youngest victim, 6-year-old Noah Pozner, was mourned at a service in Fairfield. Noah had a twin sister, Arielle, who was assigned to a different classroom and survived Friday's attack by the 20-year-old gunman, Adam Lanza.

    "Words cannot express the unfathomable loss we feel," his uncle, Alexis Haller, said in a eulogy at Noah's funeral, where he described the boy as an animal lover, a good reader and excited about a birthday party he was to attend the day after he was killed.

    "It is unspeakably tragic that none of us can bring Noah back," Haller said. "We can treasure him forever. And all of us, including the family, the community, the country and the world, can honor Noah by loving each other and taking care of each other."

    Noah Pozner, 6, Laid to Rest

    [NY] Noah Pozner, 6, Laid to Rest
    Noah Pozner, the youngest of the victims in the Newtown, Connecticut shooting, was laid to rest Monday afternoon. He was remembered as kind, caring, smart, funny and sometimes even a little mischievous. Tracie Strahan reports.
    (Published Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012)

    Both services were closed to the media but Haller provided his remarks to The Associated Press.

    Noah's schoolmate Jack Pinto was recalled for his love of many sports, especially the Giants, and his expressive face.

    "Jack loved school, reading, wrestling, skiing and football," his family said in a statement. "Most of all Jack loved to play with his friends and keep up with his big brother. He had a wide smile that would simply light up the room and while we are all uncertain as to how we will ever cope without him, we choose to remember and celebrate his life." 

    Obama at Newtown: Nation Failing to Keep Children Safe

    [NY] President Obama at Newtown Prayer Vigil: Nation Failing to Keep Children Safe
    A mournful President Barack Obama said Sunday that the nation is failing to keep its children safe, pledging that change must come after an elementary-school massacre left 20 children dead. News 4's Ida Siegal reports.
    (Published Monday, Dec. 17, 2012)

    Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy and his lieutenant governor each attended a funeral Monday and spoke with grieving relatives.

    "You try to feel their pain, but you can't. ... and you see little coffins and your heart has to ache," Malloy said.

    At Jack's service, hymns rang out from inside the funeral home. A mourner, Gwendolyn Glover, said that Jack was in an open casket and that the service was a message of comfort and protection, particularly for other children.

    Newtown Teacher: I Hid Kids in Coat Closet

    [NY] Newtown Teacher: I Hid Kids in Coat Closet
    Connie Sullivan, a teacher at Newtown Elementary School, barricaded her students in a closet to protect them from the shooter.
    (Published Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012)

    "The message was: You're secure now. The worst is over," she said.

    The funeral program bore a quotation from the Book of Revelation: "God shall wipe away all tears. There shall be no more death. Neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain."

    A fir tree opposite the funeral home was strung with paper angels carrying the names of everyone who died, including the teachers. At Noah's funeral, well-wishers placed two teddy bears, a bouquet of white flowers and a single red rose at the base of a maple tree.

    The victims in the attack were all shot multiple times. All of the children -- eight boys and 12 girls -- were younger than age 10.

    Malloy said Monday he was calling for a moment of silence on Friday at 9:30 a.m., exactly one week after the rampage. He said houses of worship would be asked to toll their bells 26 times, one for each victim. 

    Here is a list of victims and here is a collection of profiles about them. 

    With funerals underway and the town struggling to confront the overwhelming loss, police said authorities were struggling with a decision about whether to ever reopen Sandy Hook Elementary, which housed kindergarten through fourth grade. Monday classes were canceled, and the district was making plans to send surviving Sandy Hook students to a former school building in Monroe, a neighboring town.

    Connecticut State Police Lt. Paul Vance said Monday that moving trucks were given access to Sandy Hook so that furniture and other items could be moved.

    The fire marshal of Monroe, William Davin, said the new school should be ready "in a matter of days."

    Davin said he toured the former Chalk Hill School on Monday with state and local fire and building officials. It has not been used as a school since June 2011.

    Lt. Brian McCauley of the Monroe Police Department stressed no date has been set for opening the refurbished school. He said there will be a police presence when students arrive.

    Meanwhile, police continued processing evidence from the crime scenes.

    Federal agents said Monday that Lanza had fired guns at shooting ranges in recent years but that there was no evidence he did so recently as practice.

    The rifle used on the victims was a Bushmaster .223-caliber. Also found in the school were two handguns -- a Glock 10 mm and a Sig Sauer 9 mm. A shotgun was found in the Lanza's car outside, police said.

    Lanza shot himself with one of the handguns, police said Sunday after authorities completed his autopsy. The Newtown massacre was the second-deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history after Virginia Tech. Officials have yet to uncover a motive.

    Asked on the "Today" show Monday whether Lanza's mother had ever reached out to mental health or law enforcement officials out of concern for her son, Vance said investigators were looking into the possibility.

    "We're going to go back historically as far back as we need to go to determine if in fact there was anything of that nature that may have been involved prior to this tragedy occurring," he said.

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