One year on from Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that claimed life of Hampshire-born youngster Dylan Hockley

Daily Echo: Dylan Hockley Dylan Hockley

HIS was the angelic face that became a symbol of a day of tragedy in America.

A year on from a school shooting massacre that shocked the world, Dylan Hockley’s family are still determined to do what they can in his memory.

Formerly from Eastleigh, Dylan was just six years old when he and 19 other youngsters and their six teachers were killed when a gunman went on the rampage at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut a year ago today.

The incident led to much soul-searching in the United States about gun control.

His parents Ian and Nicole Hockley are among those pushing to change the law to try ensure no other parents go through what they have.

Since Dylan’s death, they have set up two campaigns in their son’s name.

Nicole helps to lead an alliance that pushes for change in gun laws called the Sandy Hook Promise.

The parents have also set up a foundation called Dylan’s Wings for Change, dedicated to supporting children with autism spectrum disorders and other special education needs, as Dylan had been diagnosed with autism.

As previously reported, Dylan and his family moved to the US after his dad Ian’s job at IBM was transferred from Hursley to New York.

Following the shooting, the six-year-old’s picture was used to drive home the human cost of the tragedy in the push for tighter gun controls in the United States.

Back in June, Ian and Nicole attended a family fun day held in Bishopstoke in Dylan’s honour, which raised money for the Hampshire Autistic Society.

Speaking in the run-up to the anniversary, Nicole said how it broke her heart every time she heard of another shooting incident, but she believes what happened to Dylan and his classmates was a tipping point.

Nicole added that she wanted Sandy Hook to be remembered as the place that started the transformation of America’s gun laws.

She recalled that day, and how she and other parents had waited anxiously before being told their children were not coming back.

Ian spoke of how he missed his son’s laugh and recalled how he used to love jumping on the trampoline.

He said that the last year had been a rollercoaster with ups and downs, but the downs had not got any better.


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