Conn. shooting victim has San Diego ties: Avielle Richman used to live in Mira Mesa neighborhood

SAN DIEGO - 10News has learned one of the victims in the Connecticut school shooting has ties to San Diego.

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6-year-old Avielle Richman lived in Mira Mesa with her family until a little more than a year ago before her family moved to Connecticut.

Authorities say 20-year-old Adam Lanza opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary school and shot dead 20 children – including Avielle – and six adults before taking his own life on Friday. Lanza's mother Nancy, who was found dead in a home in Newtown, was also believed to have been shot by Lanza.

The Richman family's former next door neighbor did not want to go on camera, but she posted a message on her front gate that speaks to the grief of the Richman family and everyone else in the United States.

It starts out by saying that out of respect for the Richman family's privacy, the neighbor would not be making any comments or statements. The message goes on to say that "Avie was a beautiful angel and her spirit will live on in the hearts of those that loved her."

Avielle had a blog entitled "Avielle's Adventures" that was written by her father and gives a glimpse into the little girl's life. A picture shows her blowing out the candles on a birthday cake. The birthday party was held at a stable in Newtown. Avielle loved horses. Her trainer said she would giggle whenever her horse trotted and that she liked to wear pink cowboy boots.

10News has also learned that Avielle's father Jeremy Richman worked at Arena Pharmaceuticals in San Diego and that he was an instructor at the White Dragon Martial Arts Studio in Mira Mesa. 

It is unclear why the family moved to Newtown, but they seemed to be enjoying the weather there. Another entry in Avielle's blog shows photos of the family's home in Newtown in all four seasons of the year. The words below the photos read, "While I would love to be living back in San Diego and its easy-on-the-weatherman 70s and sunny every day weather, I sure do love the four seasons here. The fall colors are amazing right now."

On a Facebook page created to remember Avielle, there was one comment from a person who apparently knew the little girl. 

It said, "You, Avielle, touched me in so many ways! The short time I spent with you will never be forgotten!"

Avielle's funeral has been set for Tuesday.

On Sunday, San Diegans honored the victims as though they were San Diego's own without knowing that Aviella really was.

Parents at St. Paul's Cathedral held their children closely as they prayed for the victims and their families.

The Rev. Canon Allisyn Thomas seemed to lead the service with a full but aching heart.

"Jesus looks down on this and just weeps," she said. "That we can do this to each other… to our human family and God says, 'This is not what I want for you.'"

Thomas added, "God wants us to be in the midst of what's painful and what's ugly and to try and bring some hope at the same time acknowledging the sadness."

The congregation rang the bell 28 times for the 27 victims and the gunman.

"To feel that when you hear the bell mourn… this experience that we're all going through together as a country… it was really a beautiful moment," said C.J. Ametrano, who attends St. Paul's Cathedral.

Thomas said, "It's a combination of sorrow and sadness and also hope that God is with us and somehow we're going to learn from these incidents and finally say, enough."

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