NEWTOWN, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Before going to school Friday morning, Jesse McCord Lewis, 6, had hot chocolate with his favorite breakfast sandwich — sausage, egg and cheese — at the neighborhood deli in Newtown.
Sitting in the classroom at Sandy Hook Elementary School that morning, his life was tragically cut short – along with 19 other children at the school.
But his family said he died in a heroic attempt to lead other children to safety.
“Jesse died bravely trying to lead other children to safety. He ran into the hallway to help when he heard the shots. In our hearts we already knew because that was the way he lived his life – fearless, full of courage and strength,” his family said in a Legacy.com obituary. “We take comfort in knowing what a brave child he was. His actions were consistent with the way he lived his life; passionately embracing everything, a perfect combination of courage and faith, like a little soldier, his favorite toy.”
Jesse’s family has a collection of animals he enjoyed playing with, and he was learning to ride horseback.
Family friend Barbara McSperrin told the Journal that Jesse was “a typical 6-year-old little boy, full of life.”
“If you met Jesse once, he would leave an indelible mark on your heart. The picture that remains etched in our souls is one of him in his boots, no socks, ripped jeans and a t-shirt, an army helmet strapped to his head, a smudge of dirt on his cheek, tromping through the pasture on his way from one adventure to another,” his family said.
In lieu of flowers, his family has asked for donations to: Voice for Joanie Inc., 5 Glenwood Road, New Milford, Conn., 06776.
In addition to Jesse, the child victims of the massacre were:
• Charlotte Bacon, 6;
• Daniel Barden, 7;
• Olivia Engel, 6;
• Josephine Gay, 7;
• Ana Marquez-Greene, 6;
• Dylan Hockley, 6;
• Catherine Hubbard, 6;
• Madeleine Hsu, 6;
• Chase Kowalski, 7;
• James Mattioli, 6;
• Grace McDonnell, 7;
• Emilie Parker, 6;
• Jack Pinto, 6;
• Noah Pozner, 6;
• Caroline Previdi, 6;
• Jessica Rekos, 6;
• Avielle Richman, 6;
• Benjamin Wheeler, 6;
• Allison Wyatt, 6.
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