Vigil held in Conn. for 2 children killed by grandmother

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March 1, 2013, 10:18 pm
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(NECN: Josh Brogadir, North Stonington, Conn.) - There was an immense show of support in a small Connecticut town for two little boys who were killed by their grandmother earlier this week.

Everyone at the vigil felt terribly about what happened and can't put what happened into words.

There's no hope in trying to explain the deaths of two babies, two young brothers - and the hundreds of people who found room in their hearts to stand together in North Stonington, Conn. know that.

"My son graduated with the father, and to see those two little boys, what happened to them was just devastating," said family friend Dave Lewis.

"My cousin's with me from Norwich. She came down because she has children and grandchildren, to share something here tonight and to prove God is still there and we need him and we need the community. We need to be together," said family friend Connie Van Lew.

Tuesday afternoon, Debra Denison picked up her grandsons, 6-month-old Ashton Perry and his older brother Alton, from their daycare. It was Alton's 2nd birthday.

Police say Denison killed her grandsons, then turned the gun on herself.

Her family says she struggled with bipolar disorder but had never shown signs of violence toward the boys before.

An Amber Alert was issued, but not until hours after the boys were picked up. Their parents had not realized they were at risk until it was too late.

As candles illuminated young faces from the small southeastern Connecticut town, emotions ran strong with words of support for the family, not answers to questions about why a woman who loved her grandsons could commit so heinous a crime.

"Something happens to one, happens to all of us. I happen to know the great grandmother of the children very well. And my heart goes out to them," Van Lew said.

"Make sure you kneel down tonight and say a prayer, not only for these two little boys that were killed. But say a prayer for your own children because that's the way this world's going," Lewis said.

Another Connecticut tragedy, questions about mental illness and a reminder to never take life for granted.

Tags: connecticut, Josh Brogadir, vigil, North Stonington, gun violence, Ashton Perry, Alton Perry
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