NEWTOWN, Conn. — The father of a victim of the Sandy Hook massacre has tragically taken his own life, just days after speaking about mental health in South Florida.
Police in Newtown, Connecticut said the body of 49-year-old Jeremy Richman was found Monday around 7 a.m. at the Edmond Town Hall.
It appears Richman took his own life, according to police.
Richman, whose daughter Avielle was killed in a mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012, founded the Avielle Foundation for brain research.
Just last week, Richman spoke at Florida Atlantic University's Jupiter campus about empowering educators to identify mental illness to prevent future school shootings.
"I have a profound sense of why I’m doing what I’m doing," Richman said last week. "And so there’s really no obstacles such as opportunities to grow and to change things, and I do get some degree of satisfaction from that."
The Newtown Police Department released this statement Monday:
"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 news of Richman's death has created a ripple effect.
"Sometimes people at that level feel like somehow they shouldn’t reach out for help and that’s the wrong attitude to have," said Sharon L’Herrou, the President and CEO of 211 HelpLine. "What we need to remember is that we all need help sometime."
L’Herrou said this is a reminder that status and position don't make people immune to tragedy.
If you or someone you love has considered suicide, call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.