The former University of Manitoba jazz instructor whose daughter was killed in the mass shooting at a Connecticut school Friday, has issued a public statement to supporters.
Saxophonist Jimmy Greene, dubbed the "Gentle Giant" by friends, issued a statement on his Facebook page Saturday. His daughter, Ana, in Grade 1 at Sandy Hook Elementary School, died in the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut. Her older brother, Isaiah, in Grade 3 at the school, wasn't hurt.
"Thank you for all of your prayers and kind words of support. As we work through this nightmare, we’re reminded how much we’re loved and supported on this earth and by our Father in heaven. As much as she’s needed here and missed by her mother, brother and me, Ana beat us all to paradise. I love you sweetie girl."
The family lived in Winnipeg for a few years, but returned to Connecticut, where six-foot-six Green is originally from, earlier this year.
Ana and Isaiah had attended Linden Christian School in Winnipeg before the move.
"It's an incredibly tragic experience," Linden Christian School principal Rob Charach said late Friday. "We were aware Ana had not been accounted for, and, unfortunately, we learned that she was one of the victims of the shooting.
"This is an outstanding family; they were great members of our community. It's a heart-wrenching tragedy. There aren't words to describe the pain and anguish they are going through... that all the families of the victims are going through."
Charach said the Winnipeg school took time for prayer Friday.
During their time in Winnipeg, the Greene family attended Whyte Ridge Baptist Community Church.
Terry Janke, senior pastor for the church, said a vigil was held Friday night.
"The people who came were all from our church... there were probably 50 or 60 people that were here, and were just comforting each other and praying," said Janke. "Many families were here because they were friends with the little girl that died."
The girl's father, Jimmy, an accomplished jazz saxophone player, composer and band leader who played countless gigs in Winnipeg, taught at the U of M for three years.
His wife, Nelba Márquez-Greene, a licensed marriage and family therapist, worked for two years teaching at the University of Winnipeg.