(Reuters) - Mourners from close family to complete strangers grieved on Sunday over the loss of 20 children and six adults in a shooting rampage at a Newtown, Connecticut elementary school.
Following are snapshots of some of the youngest victims killed on Friday:
JACK PINTO, 6, so loved sports that New York Giants receiver Victor Cruz said he was honoring the boy by wearing his name on his cleats and gloves during Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons. On Twitter, Cruz posted pictures with “Jack Pinto ‘My Hero’” written on one shoe, “R.I.P. Jack Pinto” on the other shoe and “Jack Pinto This one is 4 U.!” on his gloves.
The first grader was a member of the Newtown Youth Wrestling Association.
CHARLOTTE BACON, 6, pleaded to wear her new pink dress and boots to school on Friday, even though the outfit was supposed to be kept for the holidays. Her mother finally relented, her family told local media. Her brother Guy was also at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday and survived.
A photograph of 7-year-old DANIEL BARDEN shows a happy red-haired boy missing his two front teeth. His family described him as ”always smiling, unfailingly polite, incredibly affectionate, fair and so thoughtful towards others, imaginative in play, both intelligent and articulate in conversation: in all, a constant source of laughter and joy.
“Daniel was fearless in his pursuit of happiness and life,” the family said in a statement. “He earned his ripped jeans and missing two front teeth. Despite that, he was, as his mother said, ‘Just So Good.’ He embodied everything that is wholesome and innocent in the world.”
Photos of EMILIE PARKER, 6, show a smiling girl with blonde braids twirling a Hula Hoop. The Parker family came from the Ogden area of Utah, where Emilie attended a preschool called Wee Wonders. Her family said it plans to return to Utah to bury her.
Struggling to keep his composure as he talked before a bank of microphones about his daughter, her father Robbie said she loved to draw and make cards and was rarely without her markers and colored pencils. “I‘m so blessed to be her dad,” he said.
OLIVIA ENGEL, 6, was supposed to have been an angel in a live nativity performance at St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church on Friday night. In an online obituary, a family friend called her a “wiggly, smiley 6-year-old.”
JESSE LEWIS, 6, was a jokester who loved to make funny faces and clown around, neighbors told a local newspaper.
His mother Scarlett Lewis breeds horses and wrote a children’s book “Rose’s Foal” about a mare sharing wisdom and love with her foal, Little Chief. The story was based on Lewis’ real-life mare Rose, who bore a foal the day after September 11, 2001. She wrote in an author’s note on Amazon that she wrote the book in honor of her sons JT and Jesse.
The family of ANA MARQUEZ-GREENE, 6, moved to Newtown from Canada over the summer. A videoclip posted online shows Ana singing the hymn “Come now, Almighty King,” while her brother Isaiah plays the piano.
“Help us your name to sing,” she sings. “Help us to praise. Father, all glorious, o‘er all victorious, come and reign over us.”
Isaiah also attended Sandy Hook and survived the shooting.
“As much as she’s needed here and missed by her mother, brother and me, Ana beat us all to paradise. I love you sweetie girl,” her father Jimmy Greene, a professional jazz saxophonist, posted on Facebook.
BENJAMIN WHEELER, 6, grew up surrounded by music. His mother Francine is a music teacher and children’s music performer with the Dream Jam Band. She said in an interview with The Newtown Bee in 2007 that she began making up children’s songs when Benjamin’s brother was born and collected them into a CD she made with her husband David called “Come Sit Beside Me.”
In the interview, she described her joy in playing for children.
“I don’t know how my music will be as my kids get older, but I‘m sure it will evolve. What I do know, though, is that you should always sing to your kids,” she said.
Brian Rekos, the uncle of JESSICA REKOS, 6, posted a photo of his niece on Facebook showing her wearing a princess tiara. “REST IN PEACE BEAUTIFUL ANGEL,” the posting reads.
Reporting and writing by Ellen Wulfhorst; Editing by Paul Thomasch and Todd Eastham