According to the Hartford Courant, Jeremy Richman, 49, was found at Edmond Town Hall dead on Monday of an apparent suicide. Richman’s daughter, Avielle Richman, was one of the first-grade students killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook School shooting.
“He was a brokenhearted person, as we all are,” Neil Heslin, whose son, Jesse Lewis, was killed at Sandy Hook. “It’s sad. Just no words.”
Heslin knew Richman well. He said the grief is constant and he knew “Jeremy struggled.”
Richman was a scientist who opened the Avielle Foundation at Edmond Town Hall following the shooting. The foundation encouraged brain research into violent behavior. After the shooting, Richman and others called on the Connecticut state legislature to fix the mental health care system.“We must act to ensure this doesn’t happen again,” he said.
Richman was dedicated to the foundation. “He had such a clear purpose of what he wanted to do to honor his daughter,” said a family member of one of the Sandy Hook shooting victims. “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.”
“There are no words to describe the tragic weight of today’s news. Jeremy Richman was a loving husband, father and friend to many. I am proud to say he was my friend," said Newtown First Selectman Daniel Rosenthal in a statement. “I don’t want to speculate as to why Jeremy took his life, except to say none of us can fathom the enormity of loss he carried with him after the death of his beautiful daughter, Avielle.”
Last week, two survivors of the Parkland shooting also committed suicide. People are now calling for increased mental health resources for those who were affected by tragedies such as these.