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Praver told the Wall Street Journal that he didn’t know Noah Pozner but tutored his older brother, Michael Vabner, for his bar mitzvah.
“He was a sweet kid,” said David Wiener, a past president of the synagogue who was at a memorial service held there Saturday as part of its regular Shabbat services.
In response to the question of why such tragedies happen, Praver told National Public Radio: “I don’t know the answer to that. I never try to present a theological answer to that. I think what’s more important is to have compassion, humanity and hold someone’s hand and hug them and cry with them.”
Praver, who ended his NPR interview with a plea for listeners to pray for the families affected, also said that another friend of the congregation was killed.
Twelve girls, eight boys and six adult women were killed in the shooting on Friday at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, Connecticut’s chief medical examiner said.
The children killed in the Connecticut school shooting were all 6 or 7 years old, the state’s chief medical examiner, Dr. H. Wayne Carver II, told reporters.
One of the girls celebrated her seventh birthday just four days before she was killed, according to a list of victims Carver provided.
The gunman killed himself, authorities said. His body and that of his mother, who was killed at her home nearby, would be autopsied on Sunday, Carver said.
He described the attack that left a total of 28 people dead, including the shooter and his mother as “the worst I have seen.”
Asked to describe the young victims, Carver said, “They were wearing cute kid stuff.”