US shooting: First funerals held for Newtown massacre victims

Chris Parsons

Devastated mourners in Newtown, Connecticut, have held the first funerals for the young victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting massacre.

Noah Pozner, who turned six just two weeks ago, was laid to rest along with Jack Pinto, who was also gunned down on Friday in the horrific tragedy which claimed the lives of 20 schoolchildren and six adults.

Noah was the youngest victim of the Newtown massacre, and had been at Sandy Hook with his twin sister Arielle, who escaped the shooting unhurt.

The first funerals were held as the small community of Newtown tries to come to terms with the gut-wrenching tragedy of Friday morning.

Security plans for schools across America are being reviewed in the wake of the shooting, while President Obama gave a moving speech in Newtown today where he paid tribute to the 26 victims.

Noah Pozner's parents had moved the youngster to Newtown, Connecticut, along with his two sisters, because they considered the education and safety levels to be safer than in New York State.

The six-year-old boy was hailed as 'extremely mature and bright' by his uncle, who said Noah 'would have become a great man'.

At the Abraham L. Green and Son Funeral Home in Newtown, the boy's friends and relatives sung hymns and said goodbye to the youngster, while well-wishers placed two teddy bears , white flowers and a single red rose in tribute.

There was also a funeral ceremony for his schoolmate Jack Pinto, an aspiring wrestler who loved sports and was a fanatical supporter of the New York Giants football team.

Related: Adam Lanza's 'survivalist' mother 'prepared for the worst'

The six-year-old's family and friends today gathered in nearby Monroe, Fairfield, to pay their last respects to the keen sports fan.

One of the team played Sunday's game with the youngster's name written on his boots and gloves, which he plans to donate to the family.

Officials still do not know what motivated Adam Lanza, 20, to gun down his own mother, before shooting dead six more adults and 20 young schoolchildren.

Newtown officials could not say whether Sandy Hook Elementary would ever reopen. Plans were made to send surviving pupils to a former school building in a neighbouring town.

Newtown police Lt. George Sinko said he "would find it very difficult" for students to return to the same school. But, he added, "We want to keep these kids together. They need to support each other."

Related: Memorials mourn Newtown dead (slideshow)

Divorce paperwork made public today shows that Lanza's mother had the authority to make all decisions regarding his upbringing. It makes no mention of any mental health issues regarding Lanza. The paperwork says the marriage broke down "irretrievably."

The divorce was finalised in September 2009, when Adam Lanza was 17.

Federal agents have concluded that Lanza visited a shooting range in the area.