Newtown neuropharmacologist Jeremy Richman, who founded a nonprofit dedicated to helping prevent violence following the loss of his daughter in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, has died of an apparent suicide.
Police found the 49-year-old Richman in his office at Edmond Town Hall at 45 Main St. at around 7 a.m. on Monday. Further details were not made available, though police said there was nothing suspicious about his death. The Connecticut State Medical Examiner’s office will conduct an autopsy, according to the police.
Richman founded and served as the CEO of The Avielle Foundation, named after his daughter Avielle Richman, one of the 20 children killed along with six adults on Dec. 14, 2012. The foundation is a 501(C)3 nonprofit organization that according to its website is in part dedicated to helping people “learn more about how you can help to prevent violence and build compassion in your home and community.”
Richman and the foundation also have maintained that brain research can provide insights that can help people identify the signs and symptoms of someone troubled or in crisis, as well as educate them on how to respond to prevent violent behavior.
“There are no words to describe the tragic weight of today’s news,” Newtown First Selectman Dan Rosenthal said. “Jeremy Richman was a loving husband, father and friend to many.”
“This is awful, horrible, devastating news,” U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy tweeted. “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.”
“I was proud to call Jeremy a good friend, a dedicated father, an esteemed researcher & an outstanding human being,” U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal tweeted. “He will be deeply missed by all that knew him.”
“I recently met with Jeremy to learn about The Avielle Foundation, and was struck by how optimistic he was about the progress the foundation was making in understanding brain health,” U.S. Rep. Jahana Hayes said. “He spoke about how the foundation’s investments have led to broader study of brain chemistry and violence.”
“Thoughts and prayers just don’t feel like enough in times like these,” tweeted Gov. Ned Lamont. “Words cannot even begin to express our sorrow.”
Richman was the keynote speaker at Westfair Publications’ 2016 Fairfield County Doctors of Distinction awards.
“It’s what you do, not who you are, that matters,” he said at the event. “It is so important to highlight the value of letting things touch you to your heart in your endeavors. We become involved when we let things touch us to the core.”