Sandy Hook Victim Appears in Pakistani School Shooting Vigils – Truth! & Misleading!
Summary of eRumor:
Vigils for the victims of a school massacre in Pakistan in December of 2014 include a picture of a six-year-old boy who was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary two years earlier.
It’s true that a picture of six-year-old Sandy Hook victim Noah Pozner appeared in vigils for students killed in the Army Public School massacre in Peshawar, Pakistan on December 16, 2014.
“The school in Pakistan claims Noah Pozner as pupil Huzaifa Huxaifa who died in the Taliban attacks last month!”
However, Noah Pozner was much younger than the students who were killed in Peshawar. The victims were in the eighth, ninth and tenth grades, the youngest being 12 years old, CNN reports.
The picture of Noah Pozner that appeared in Pakistan was taken when he was six at a book fair held at Sandy Hook Elementary in November of 2012. His grandmother took the photo, and it’s publicly available on the “Remembering Noah Samuel Pozner” Facebook page.
Noah’s picture first appeared in a BBC broadcast on the aftermath of the Taliban attack on the Army Public School that left 132 students dead in Peshawar. The video shows Noah’s picture in a montage honoring the dead. But less than a day later, BBC acknowledged that the photo was of Noah Pozner, not a Peshawar victim:
“Meanwhile, another picture has been circulating online of victims of the Peshawar massacre — but the montage of images includes the photo of a young boy, Noah Pozner, who died in the Sandy Hook massacre in the United States in 2012.”
Another image that made the rounds on the web shows a mourner holding Noah’s picture.
It’s not known exactly why mourners used the photo of Noah Pozner in their vigils. It seems they should have been able to recognize that Noah was half the age of the Peshawar victims, so it probably wasn’t a mistake. Mourners may have intentionally used Noah’s image to show solidarity against school massacres around the world, and to highlight that these tragedies happen all over the world, not just in the Middle East.
It should also be noted that Noah Pozner has become one of the most well known Sandy Hook victims since his death. Lenny Pozner, Noah’s father, has taken a public stand against Sandy Hook conspiracy theorists, which has incited even more scrutiny. In an editorial that appeared in the Hartford Currant in July 2014, Lenny Pozner wrote:
“More than a year and a half after Adam Lanza brutally murdered 26 women and children at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, parents and relatives of the victims still relive the terror of that fateful day along with the daily anguish and torment they suffer over the loss of their loved ones. Worse, they have to suffer the onslaught of delusional conspiracy theorists, commonly called hoaxers, who claim Sandy Hook was a ‘false flag’ event concocted by the government as a pretext to gun confiscation.
“As a parent of one of the murdered students, Noah Pozner, I have worked to debunk and stop the cruel and hateful hoaxers who use the Internet to spread their lies. Recently, some hoaxers have stepped up the intensity of their twisted campaign in an effort to draw more people into this destructive tale of misinformation and continue to disrupt the lives of victims’ families.”
Persistent conspiracy theories and claims about Noah Pozner’s death even led his parents to release a copy of his death certificate and report card.
Then, just days before the eRumor claiming that Noah Pozner had “died twice” in separate school shootings went viral in December of 2014, the Pozner family joined a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the Bushmaster AR-15, one of the guns used by Adam Lanza in the shooting, the Hartford Courant reports:
“The wrongful death lawsuit filed at Superior Court in Bridgeport claims that the Bushmaster AR-15 used by Lanza to kill 26 people, including 20 first-graders on Dec. 14, 2012, inside Sandy Hook Elementary School, should not be sold to the public because it is a military assault weapon designed for war.
“In addition to Bushmaster, the lawsuit names Camfour, a firearms distributor, and Riverview Gun Sales, where Nancy Lanza, the shooter’s mother, purchased the Bushmaster in 2010.”
Noah Pozner has been the subject of numerous conspiracy theories about Sandy Hook in the past, and this eRumor appears to be fueled by similar speculation.