A Newtown Police Department spokesman said, Jeremy Richman, 49, was found unresponsive at Edmond Town Hall around 7 a.m. Monday. Police said that an electrician doing work in the building discovered his body.
Richman was a neuro-pharmacologist and founded the Avielle Foundation, which has an office in Edmond Town Hall. His foundation focused on studying the neuroscience of violence and compassion.
He was the father of Avielle, a 6-year-old who was among the 20 children killed in the mass shooting at Sandy Hook.
Newtown Police Lt. Aaron Bahamonde wrote in a Facebook post,
“This is a heart breaking event for the Richman family and the Newtown Community as a whole. The police department’s prayers are with the Richman family right now, and we ask that the family be given privacy in this most difficult time.”
The Chief Medical Examiner said it would not release any details related to Richman’s death until Tuesday afternoon,
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) learned of Richman’s death just moments after leaving a forum about gun violence in schools, The Hartford Courant reported. In a tweet, he described Richman as
“a dedicated father, esteemed researcher & an outstanding human being.”
Richman and his wife, Jennifer Hensel, were leading voices on mental health issues in the wake of the shooting, according to the Courant. Richman reportedly hosted an event about vulnerability and courage at Edmond Town Hall earlier this month, which other Sandy Hook families attended.
Neil Heslin, whose 6-year-old son Jesse Lewis died in the 2012 shooting, told the Courant that Richman was “a brokenhearted person.”
“We all are… It’s sad. Just no words.”
Richman and Hensel were among the Sandy Hook families who were suing InfoWars host Alex Jones over his claims that the shooting was a hoax.
If you or someone you know needs help, call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also text HOME to 741-741 for free, 24-hour support from the Crisis Text Line. Outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of resources.
My god. This is awful, horrible, devastating news. Jeremy was a good friend and an unceasing advocate for better research into the brain’s violence triggers. He was with me in my office two weeks ago, excited as could be about the Avielle Foundation’s latest amazing work. https://t.co/xhy89JlXG8
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) March 25, 2019
Jeremy Richman's passing is simply devastating. I was proud to call Jeremy a good friend, a dedicated father, an esteemed researcher & an outstanding human being. He will be deeply missed by all that knew him.
— Richard Blumenthal (@SenBlumenthal) March 25, 2019