Dylan Hockley and his family moved to the small US town of Newtown from England two years ago. The young boy was shot dead by Adam Lanza during a mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
In a statement his family said they did not regret moving to the town and were grateful to everyone who had reached out in their time of grief.
Here is the Hockley family's entire statement:
We want to give sincere thanks and appreciation to the emergency services and first responders who helped everyone on Friday, December 14. It was an impossible day for us, but even in our grief we cannot comprehend what other people may have experienced.
The support of our beautiful community and from family, friends and people around the world has been overwhelming and we are humbled. We feel the love and comfort that people are sending and this gives our family strength. We thank everyone for their support, which we will continue to need as we begin this long journey of healing.
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, was warm and funny and Dylan loved her dearly. 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.
Everyone who met Dylan fell in love with him. His beaming smile would light up any room and his laugh was the sweetest music. He loved to cuddle, play tag every morning at the bus stop with our neighbors, bounce on the trampoline, play computer games, watch movies, the color purple, seeing the moon and eating his favorite foods, especially chocolate. He was learning to read and was so proud when he read us a new book every day. He adored his big brother Jake, his best friend and role model.
There are no words that can express our feeling of loss. We will always be a family of four, as though Dylan is no longer physically with us, he is forever in our hearts and minds. We love you Mister D, our special gorgeous angel.