"A brave, lively little boy" is how 6-year-old Jesse Lewis, whose mother Scarlett was raised in Darien, is described.

Jesse and 19 of his schoolmates and six adults were killed on Friday, Dec. 14, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown when a 20-year-old man shot them with a semiautomatic rifle.

Jesse, who has an older brother JT, lived on his mother's farm in Newtown, according to Allison Dolcetti, whose daughter is married to Jesse's uncle, Christopher "Jordan" Lewis, a Darien resident.

Scarlett Lewis has been involved with and has owned horses for more than 20 years, according to her farm's website. She rode competitively at Ox Ridge Hunt Club in Darien for several years and trained green thoroughbred race horses off the track.

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Dolcetti said growing up on the farm made Jesse more mature than most children his age.

"He had a lot of freedom and a great imagination," Dolcetti said. "He was very intuitive."

He was a sweet little boy who was very energetic and full of life, Dolcetti said. He loved animals, exploring, running and playing soccer. Dolcetti said the family had several dogs and Jesse loved them all.

Jesse was "an amazing child, full of light and love that was unmistakable in his presence," according to his family's tribute to him in his obituary. "He brought joy to the world with his infectious and radiant smile. He was smart and compassionate beyond his years."

Dolcetti's voice was thick with emotion as she spoke of Jesse's bravery, saying he died while trying to lead other students to safety.

"He was a great little boy, and he loved the whole family," she said, "and we're going to miss him."

Dolcetti said she cannot describe how the devastating events have impacted the family. "It changed our whole lives."

However, she added, the outpouring of support from all over the world has been "a blessing from God."

"Everyone keeps asking where God is in all of this," she said. "God didn't make this happen. God is covering everyone with the outpouring of love."

She said there have been endless notes and cards, and food so the family doesn't have to worry. Dolcetti became emotional when speaking of the professional football and basketball players who have honored the victims with stickers on their cleats and "Sandy Hook" on their jerseys.

"Everyone is about trying to be there in any way they can without being intrusive," Dolcetti said. "The whole town is covered in memorial."

Private services and burial for Jesse took place on Thursday, Dec. 20, in Newtown.

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