UK & World News

  • 18 December 2012, 5:38

Newtown Shooting: First Funerals For Victims

The first funerals for victims of the Connecticut school shooting have taken place, three days after the massacre.

Services were held for six-year-olds Noah Pozner and Jack Pinto, who were among 20 children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.

The children were shot dead by Adam Lanza, who also killed six members of staff before taking his own life. Earlier, he killed his mother, Nancy, at the home they shared.

Noah was the youngest victim and had been in school with his twin sister, Arielle, who escaped unhurt. He had celebrated his sixth birthday a fortnight ago.

"He was just a really lively, smart kid," his uncle, Alexis Haller, said. "He would have become a great man, I think. He would have grown up to be a great dad."

In his obituary in the Newtown Bee newspaper, his parents and four siblings said: "He was the light of our family, a little soul devoid of spite and meanness."

At the Abraham L. Green and Son Funeral Home in Newtown, where Noah's relatives sung hymns and paid their respects, well-wishers placed two teddy bears, a bouquet of white flowers and a single red rose.

Friends and family of Jack gathered in nearby Monroe to say their goodbyes.

The youngster was a keen wrestler and Jack Wellman, a sports coach at Sandy Hook, said children had placed their medals in his coffin.

He was buried wearing a red and white American football jersey with the number of his hero, the New York Giants player Victor Cruz.

"Jack was an incredibly loving and vivacious young boy, appreciated by all who knew him for his lively and giving spirit and steely determination," his parents, Dean and Tricia Pinto, said in an obituary in the Newtown Bee.

Jack was laid to rest at Newtown Village Cemetery while Noah was buried at B'nai Israel Cemetery, Monroe.

The Newtown shooting, which is among the deadliest in US history, has reignited the debate on gun control.

At a vigil in Newtown on Sunday, President Barack Obama called for "meaningful action" to prevent similar massacres from happening in the future.

"What choice do we have?" he said. "Are we really prepared to say that we're powerless in the face of such carnage, that the politics are too hard?"

Police are working 24 hours a day on the investigation into the shooting and plan to interview two adults who were injured but survived.

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