Hours after the apparent suicide of Jeremy Richman, 49, of Newtown, the father of Avielle Richman, a first-grader killed in the Sandy Hook tragedy in 2012, the foundation he helped created said it is "devastated" by his death.
"Our hearts are shattered and our hearts are struggling to comprehend," the Avielle Foundation said in a statement.
Richman was found early Monday, March 25, at his office located in Edmond Town Hall after police responded to a report of an apparent suicide, police said. A suicide note was left, but not divulged.
Following his first-grade daughter’s death, Richman and his wife Jennifer Hensel co-founded the foundation to advance brain research into the roots of violence.
“Jeremy was deeply devoted to supporting research into brain abnormalities that are linked to abnormal behavior and to promoting brain health,” the statement said. “Tragically, his death speaks to how insidious and formidable a challenge brain health can be and how critical it is for all of us to seek help for ourselves, our loved ones and anyone who we suspect may be in need.”
Because his death has the potential to traumatize those affected by the original massacre, mental health experts were brought in for police officers, town employees and for the schools, officials said.
“My god,” Murphy tweeted. “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.”
Blumenthal said Richman’s death was 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."
Richman was a neuropharmacologist with more than 20 years of experience in research and drug discovery, according to the foundation's website. He spent his free time rock climbing and teaching martial arts.
For information on suicide prevention contact the National Suicide Prevention LIne at 1-800-273-8255 or by visiting www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
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