The horrific shootings in Newtown, Connecticut that left 27 people dead including 20 young school children has shaken the entire nation.
Strangers have shed tears for those who were killed that horrible day.
The tears shed by Christine Carmody of Tampa will be for a loved one.
"Rachel was extremely intelligent, she's very witty," Carmody said. "[And] she loved children."
Rachel D'Avino, 29, died during the attack at Sandy Hook Elementary School. She was Carmody's niece.
"Before I found out that Rachel was actually killed my heart was just killing for those parents of those children," Carmody recalled. "It brought it even closer to home when I found out that [Rachel] was there."
Carmody says D'Avino was psychology major in college. She had been interning at the school.
"She just started working there a week and a half ago for her internship," Carmody said.
Shortly after news of the shooting spread there was some confusion on whether or not Rachel was there.
"They weren't exactly sure she was there because the police list didn't have her name on it," Carmody said.
Her death was eventually confirmed by authorities.
Carmody was on her way to Connecticut when Fox 13 spoke to her by phone. She says she has a big family and most of them will be there.
"I just can't wait to see them and hug them," said Carmody.
Rachel just loved working with children. She also was an animal lover and was deeply in love with her boyfriend.
"She was so loved by her boyfriend Tony, Wednesday night he asked my sister if he could marry her and he was going to propose on Christmas Eve," Carmody added.
But now instead of a wedding, her family will be planning a funeral. They will be mourning a life that was extinguished far too soon.
Carmody says the only thing that will get her through, is her faith in God.
"I know he will comfort us," she says. "Right now it may not feel like that but we will be comforted."
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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