Jeremy Richman was the father of first-grader Avielle Richman, who died in the 2012 school massacre.
The father of a first-grade girl who was killed in the Sandy Hook school shootings died in an apparent suicide Monday morning, Newtown Police confirmed.
Jeremy Richman, 49, was found dead at 7 a.m. inside Edmond Town Hall, where he had an office space, police told The Daily Beast. Authorities said the medical examiners office is still investigating the exact cause of death.
A neuropharmacologist, Richman co-founded the Avielle Foundation after his first-grade daughter, Avielle Richman, died in the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. The 6-year-old was among the 20 first-grade students and six administrators killed.
This is a heartbreaking event for the Richman Family and the Newtown community as a whole, the police departments prayers are with the Richman family right now, and we ask that the family be given privacy in this most difficult time, Lt. Aaron Bahamonde said in a statement. The death appears to be a suicide but police will not disclose the method or any other details of the death, only to state the death does not appear suspicious.
In a later statement, Bahamonde said that some of the officers called to Mondays scene also responded to the Sandy Hook shooting. The officers found a note next to Richmans body, he added.
Richman and his wife, Jennifer Hensel, created theAvielle Foundation, which was dedicated to funding research into the neuroscience behind compassion and violence.
In a 2017 interview with NPR, Richman talked about the emptiness the couple felt after they lost their only child. It was like a ghost limb syndrome, you know, where you keep thinking Wheres Avielle? Do we need to pick her up? he said. And every day youd have this [realization] that I dont have a child, and I dont have to parent. That was just brutal.
Richman and Hensel ultimately had two more children.
In another 2017 interview with theRochester Democrat and Chronicle, Richman talked about how each new mass shooting roiled his emotions.
Right after Newtown we had the Boston bombings, and then weve had Charleston, Orlando, and over a hundred school shootings, some of which make the national news and some dont, he said. Every time this happens it breaks a heart and it chokes us up. To be honest, though, now it comes with a fair degree of frustration and anger, because things arent changing fast enough. I really get sick of thoughts and prayers, and our hearts go out. Thats not going to change anything. What I need to hear is: My heart is broken, and my boots are on the ground to fix it.
According to theHartford Courant, Richmana trained scientist who also lectured at Yale Universityhad hosted an event at Town Hall earlier this month with author Bren Brown that several Sandy Hook families attended.
He had such a clear purpose of what he wanted to do to honor his daughter, one family member told the newspaper. Im just shocked. Im sitting in my car right now crying. The foundation was doing really important work and was doing such good things.
Richman and Hensel were among the parents who sued InfoWars Alex Jones for perpetuating the claim that the massacre was a hoax and that the childrens parents were crisis actors. Just last week, a judge ordered Jones to turn over a trove of emails and other documents to the families.
On Monday, Alex Jones called Richmans death a tragedyafter blasting the media for bringing up the lawsuit.
My thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family, Jones said on his Infowars show.
Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) expressed his condolencesonline, calling the passing of his good friend… simply devastating.
My god. This is awful, horrible, devastating news. Jeremy was a good friend and an unceasing advocate for better research into the brains violence triggers, Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) tweeted Monday morning. He was with me in my office two weeks ago, excited as could be about the Avielle Foundations latest amazing work.
Richamans death comes just days after two survivors of theParkland school shooting diedfrom apparent suicides.
Sydney Aiello, whose mother said she suffered from survivors guilt after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 dead,took her own lifelast Sunday, Coconut Creek police confirmed.
Aiello was close friends with Meadow Pollack, one of the victims from the Feb. 14, 2018 shooting.
On Saturday night, a second unnamed student survivor also died in an apparent suicide, the Coral Springs Police Departmentconfirmed. The student was described as a male, 17-year-old sophomore at the high school.
How many more kids have to be taken from us as a result of suicide for the government / school district to do anything? Parkland survivor and March for Our Lives leader David HoggtweetedSunday morning.
If you or a loved one are struggling with suicidal thoughts, please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).