On Monday, the first of too many funerals to come will be held in Newtown, Connecticut, as 6-year-old Noah Pozner, “smart as a whip” and the youngest of the victims at Sandy Hook Elementary, and 6-year-old Jack Pinto, a big fan of the New York Giants, are laid to rest. Both boys were killed in Friday’s horrific shooting at the hands of Adam Lanza, with services to follow for the remaining twenty children and six adults murdered in the assault. Tomorrow, a funeral will be held for 6-year-old Jessica Rekos, described in a statement by her family as “a creative, beautiful girl who loved playing with her little brothers, Travis and Shane.” Victoria Soto, the young teacher who died trying to protect her students, will be buried on Wednesday. “That is how she was found,” her cousin said. “Huddled with her children.”
“I’ve never seen anything like this, never,” said Daniel Honan, the director of Newtown’s only funeral home, which has been located on Main Street for more than a century. In order to prepare for what he called “the week from hell,” Honan has hired between 25 and 30 new temporary employees, the Daily News reports, to add to his normal staff of two.
Authorities, meanwhile, are continuing their investigation into the 20-year-old Lanza, who killed his doting mother before opening fire at the school. Police have said they gathered evidence that “suggests a motive, which in the coming days will be made public,” but preliminary character sketches of the killer have raised more questions than answers.
Unconfirmed amateur diagnoses from those who knew Lanza continue to pepper media reports: A faculty member at Lanza’s former high school told ABC News that the shooter could not feel physical pain (an extremely rare condition explored in a recent New York Times Magazine article), while others have focused on his emotional distance from those around him. “Adam Lanza has been a weird kid since we were five years old,” tweeted a former classmate. “As horrible as this was, I can’t say I am surprised.” Police have reportedly seized Lanza’s computers and are examining his older brother’s electronics in an attempt to determine what led to Friday’s tragedy.
At a speech on Sunday in Newtown, President Obama said, “In the coming weeks I’ll use whatever power this office holds to engage my fellow citizens from law enforcement to mental health professionals to parents and educators, in an effort aimed at preventing more tragedies like this.” The memorial last night at a local high school will not be the last, but it helped to start the long, slow process of healing. “We needed this. We needed to be together, here in this room, in the gymnasium, outside the doors of this school, in living rooms around the world,” said Reverend Matt Crebbin, a senior minister at the Newtown Congregational Church. “These darkest days of our community shall not be the final word heard from us.”