Lynn and Chris McDonnell called their 7-year-old daughter ‘‘the love and light’’ of their family in a statement released by the little girl’s uncle.
The family also shared a photo featuring Grace smiling into the camera, her eyes shining and a pink bow adorning her long blonde hair.
‘‘Words cannot adequately express our sense of loss,’’ the McDonnells said.
ANNE MARIE MURPHY, 52, teacher
A happy soul. A good mother, wife and daughter. Artistic, fun-loving, witty and hardworking.
Remembering their daughter, Anne Marie Murphy, her parents had no shortage of adjectives to offer Newsday. When news of the shooting broke, Hugh and Alice McGowan waited for word of their daughter as hours ticked by. And then it came.
Authorities told the couple their daughter was a hero who helped shield some of her students from the rain of bullets. As the grim news arrived, the victim’s mother reached for her rosary.
‘‘You don’t expect your daughter to be murdered,’’ her father told the newspaper. ‘‘It happens on TV. It happens elsewhere.’’
EMILIE PARKER, 6
Quick to cheer up those in need of a smile, Emilie Parker never missed a chance to draw a picture or make a card.
Her father, Robbie Parker, fought back tears as he described the beautiful, blond, always-smiling girl who loved to try new things, except foods.
Parker, one of the first parents to publicly talk about his loss, expressed no animosity for the gunman, even as he struggled to explain the death to his other two children, ages 3 and 4. He’s sustained by the fact that the world is better for having had Emilie in it.
‘‘I'm so blessed to be her dad,’’ he said.
JACK PINTO, 6
Jack Pinto was a huge New York Giants fan. Wide receiver Victor Cruz honored Jack on Sunday on his cleats, writing on them the words ‘‘Jack Pinto, My Hero’’ and ‘‘R.I.P. Jack Pinto.’’
‘‘I also spoke to an older brother and he was distraught as well. I told him to stay strong and I was going to do whatever I can to honor him,’’ Cruz said after the Giant’s game with the Atlanta Falcons. ‘‘He was fighting tears and could barely speak to me.’’
Cruz said he planned to give the gloves he wore during the game to the boy’s family, and spend some time with them.
‘‘There’s no words that can describe the type of feeling that you get when a kid idolizes you so much that unfortunately they want to put him in the casket with your jersey on,’’ he said. ‘‘I can’t even explain it.’’
Jack’s funeral and burial were Monday.
NOAH POZNER, 6
Noah was ‘‘smart as a whip,’’ gentle but with a rambunctious streak, said his uncle, Alexis Haller of Woodinville, Wash.
He was part of a big family. His twin sister, Arielle, assigned to a different classroom, survived the shooting. He called Arielle his best friend and loved her dearly, along with big sisters Danielle and Sophia and big brother Michael.
‘‘They were always playing together, they loved to do things together,’’ Haller said. When his mother, a nurse, would tell him she loved him, he would answer, ‘‘Not as much as I love you, Mom.'’’
Haller said Noah loved to read and liked to figure out how things worked mechanically. He was already a very good reader. He loved animals, video games and Nintendo’s Mario Brothers characters. For his birthday two weeks ago, he got a new Wii.
Noah was looking forward to reading a new ‘‘Ninjago’’ book he'd just bought at a book fair. He was also very excited about going to a birthday party he had been invited to. It was to take place Saturday.
‘‘He was just a really lively, smart kid,’’ Haller said. ‘‘He would have become a great man, I think. He would have grown up to be a great dad.’’
A funeral was held Monday, followed by burial.
CAROLINE PREVIDI, 6
‘‘Silly Caroline’’ Previdi had an infectious grin and a giving heart.
Karen Dryer, a neighbor, remembered how Caroline would ride the bus with her son, Logan, when he got scared. She'd sit with him, make sure he felt safe, and play peek-a-boo over the seat to distract him.
‘‘My son refers to her as ‘Silly Caroline,'’’ said Dryer, who is still wrestling with how to talk to her son about the shootings. ‘‘She’s just a girl that was always smiling, always wanting others to smile.’’
‘‘Caroline Phoebe Previdi was a blessing from God and brought joy to everyone she touched,’’ her parents, Jeff and Sandy Previdi, said in a statement. ‘‘We know that she is looking down on us from Heaven.’’
Family friend David Sutch, who lives in Brookfield, Mo., described the Previdis as loving and compassionate, always having other children over to the house, willing to befriend anyone.Continued...