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Friday 19 September 2014

Grieving family take comfort knowing six-year-old Dylan died in arms of favourite teaching assistant

Katie Hodge

Published 19/12/2012 | 09:44

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THE grieving family of gun massacre victim Dylan Hockley have said they take "great comfort" from knowing the six-year-old died "wrapped in the arms" of one of his favourite teaching assistants.

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The schoolboy, who moved to the US from Britain last year with his parents, Ian and Nicole, and elder brother, Jake, was gunned down in cold blood by killer Adam Lanza along with his classmates.



His heartbroken relatives spoke today of that "impossible day" and paid tribute to the teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, "who all selflessly died trying to save our children".



Dylan, affectionately named "Mister D" by his parents, was one of eight boys and 12 girls in first grade killed in Friday's atrocity.



But despite the tragedy, his parents said they would never regret making the move to Newtown last January.



And they said they would be "forever bound together" with the relatives of the other children killed in one of America's worst school shootings.



His family said: "We take great comfort in knowing that Dylan was not alone when he died, but was wrapped in the arms of his amazing aide, Anne Marie Murphy.



"Dylan loved Mrs Murphy so much and pointed at her picture on our refrigerator every day.



"Though our hearts break for Dylan, they are also filled with love for these and the other beautiful women who all selflessly died trying to save our children."



They said their son, a child with special educational needs, was learning to read when he died and was "so proud when he read us a new book every day".



The Hockleys said they had been humbled by the overwhelming support from their "beautiful community" and around the world.



They added: "Our thoughts and prayers are with the other families who have also been affected by this tragedy. We are forever bound together and hope we can support and find solace with each other.



"Sandy Hook and Newtown have warmly welcomed us since we moved here two years ago from England.



"We specifically chose Sandy Hook for the community and the elementary school. We do not and shall never regret this choice. Our boys have flourished here and our family's happiness has been limitless.



"We cannot speak highly enough of Dawn Hochsprung and Mary Sherlach, exceptional women who knew both our children and who specifically helped us navigate Dylan's special education needs.



"Dylan's teacher, Vicki Soto (who died trying to save the children in her classroom), was warm and funny and Dylan loved her dearly."

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