Minn. family grieves loss of Orono native's daughter in Conn. - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Minn. family grieves loss of Orono native's daughter in Conn. shooting

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ORONO, Minn. (KMSP) -

A large Minnesota family is grieving the loss of a small loved one who was killed in Friday's school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

Officials have confirmed 6-year-old Charlotte Bacon was one of the children killed inside Sandy Hook Elementary School. Now, her grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins are en route from Minnesota to the East Coast to attend her funeral.

"The whole nation feels close to this because we all have children, nieces, nephews and grandchildren," said family friend Leah Spring. "You can't think of this happening to our own families --but when it is someone you know, it touches close to home."

Bacon's mother grew up in Orono, and Spring has been friends with her since they were kindergartners themselves. Even though Spring hadn't had the chance to travel the 1,200 miles to meet her friend's 6-year-old daughter, she is launching a fundraising site to help the family with whatever costs they incur preparing for her funeral.

Spring said she was amazed at how quickly her Orono classmates rallied to support the Bacon family, but she said she believes it's because the community feels as though it lost a child of its own.

The Bacon family is getting some big-time help with expenses from American Airlines, which is flying the victim's loved ones to the funerals for free.

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