A mother who lost her 6-year-old son in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting has penned an open letter to the mother of Jacob Hall, the 6-year-old who died Saturday after being fatally wounded in September’s school shooting in South Carolina.
“As a mother and grieving parent, I am here for you now and always, in any way I am able. My heart is with you,” Nicole Hockley, whose son Dylan died in the Connecticut shooting, writes in the three-page letter.
Jacob was shot along with Townville teacher Meghan Hollingsworth and the second student, also 6 years old. Hollingsworth and the student were released from AnMed Health Medical Center the day after the shooting, a hospital spokesman previously told PEOPLE.
Jacob was shot in the leg and the bullet hit his femoral artery, causing massive blood loss leading to cardiopulmonary arrest, his family said. He was airlifted from the scene and remained on life support until his death.
The 14-year-old suspect is being charged as a juvenile in the shooting along with the death of his father, Jeffrey Osborne, who was found fatally shot near the school.
Hours after Jacob died, his mother, Renae Hall, spoke to reporters outside the hospital, calling Jacob a “superhero.”
“Jacob was forgiving,” Hall said. “What happened to Jacob, Jacob forgives already. He’s in heaven smiling down at us. He’s asking his mommy to be able to be strong to forgive just like he would have.”
Hockley tells Hall she has had a hard time coming to terms with losing her son, who was killed along with 19 other children in 2012.
“Jacob was your superhero; Dylan was my Superman. Jacob did not die alone; he died in your loving embrace. Dylan died in the arms of his special education assistant, who also died while trying to protect him,” Hockley writes. “Both boys were exactly where they should have been when they were shot — at their school.”
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Hockley is the co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise, a nonprofit organization that provides programs and practices to help prevent gun violence.
“In time, I know you will find your own path and moments of happiness again, eventually even joy,” Hockley writes. “But the absence of Jacob in your life leaves a hole no moments can ever fill.”
“I am happy that you can find peace and forgiveness through your faith. I’m sad to say I have not found that yet — I am still mad at God,” Hockley writes. “As you said — there are good people in the world. I believe that, too. And I know that their numbers and hearts are stronger … [and] love will prevail.”
A GoFundMe page has been started to help Jacob Hall’s family with medical and funeral expenses.