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New York Giants receiver Victor Cruz visited the home of one of his biggest fans–a 6-six-year Connecticut shooting victim who was buried in a replica Cruz jersey.
Jack Pinto was among 20 children shot to death Friday in Newtown, Conn. Several elementary school-age children played football in the front yard of his family’s home Tuesday. Many wore Giants jerseys, Newtown football and wrestling shirts as they laughed, smiled and hugged.
The children and their families left after several hours. Kids carried autographed Giants footballs and jerseys.
About 45 minutes later, Cruz left the home in an SUV and an escort of five police cruisers, sirens blaring. He later tweeted he has “much love to the entire Pinto family. Great people with huge hearts.”
Several people leaving the home confirmed Cruz was there.
Previously, the wide receiver honored the 6-year-old victim by writing on his cleats the words “Jack Pinto, My Hero” and “R.I.P. Jack Pinto.” Cruz personally reached out to Pinto’s family, who considered burying the boy in his No. 80 jersey.
“I also spoke to an older brother and he was distraught as well. I told him to stay strong and that I was going to do whatever I can to honor him,” Cruz stated. “He was fighting tears and could barely speak to me.”
“There’s no words that can describe the type of feeling that you get when a kid idolizes you so much that unfortunately they want to put him in the casket with your jersey on,” Cruz added. “I can’t even explain it.”
Authorities say the man who killed Pinto and the other children at Sandy Hook Elementary School, 20-year-old Adam Lanza, shot his mother at the home they share, took her car and some of her guns to the school, where he broke in and opened fire. A total of 26 people were killed in one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history.
Pinto’s burial was held at the Newtown Village Cemetery.
Based on reporting by the Associated Press.