Looking Back: Sandy Hook Elementary Shooting

Families of Sandy Hook victims confront mass shootings head-on in new PSA

Thursday will mark five years since 20 first-graders and six adults were shot and killed inside Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton.

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Nicole Hockley, whose son, 6-year-old Dylan, was killed, spoke to Boston 25 News reporter Robert Goulston about how she helped to release a video calling on people to do more to stop mass shootings. The Sandy Hook Promise video depicts a tragedy similar to the one at Sandy Hook, one day before it happens.

“To have it played out as something before a shooting takes place -- it really hammers that message home,” Hockley said. "The end of the PSA has a little bit of a gut punch but gun violence is not comfortable and as a country, I think we've become a little too comfortable with.”

Sandy Hook Promise was co-founded by several families who lost loved ones in the shooting. The PSA was released this week as a way of trying to change behaviors that seem to play out over and over. 

“The mass shootings. That tears the scab right off my heart and makes everything incredibly fresh and painful again especially when there’s children involved,” Hockley said.

The anniversaries are also incredibly difficult.

>> Related: Newtown marks fifth anniversary of deadly Sandy Hook shooting

"The pain, it never goes away. There is no closure on this. There is no moving on," she said.

But she says Dylan is still by her side, keeping focused preventing this violence. 

"His legacy lives on through these programs and that's the only way I can think to pay tribute to my little boy,” she said. "Knowing that we are having an impactm that fuels us. Because that's all we want to do and that helps save lives."

This undated family photo provided by Sandy Hook Promise shows sons Dylan, left, and Jake, right, with parents Ian and Nicole Hockley. Dylan was among those killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting on Dec. 14, 2012 in Newtown, Conn. The Hockley parents were co-founders of Sandy Hook Promise, a group that lobbied for mental health care changes and gun control legislation in the months after the shooting. (Nicole Hockley/Sandy Hook Promise via AP)
Photo: AP

There is no permanent memorial in Newtown. A commission has been working for years to design and pick a location. Recently, a resident donated five acres not far from the school - but they are still working on a design.

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