'He had so much love to give to this world': Heartbroken family of Sandy Hook shooting victim Daniel Barden, 7, mourn a little boy who always wanted to help others



22:46 GMT, 17 December 2012

Holding tears at bay, the heartbroken family of Daniel Barden, 7, said the world had been deprived of a person with love and light to give to everyone he met.

Gunman Adam Lanza killed Barden Friday during his senseless shooting spree at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Father Mike Barden, mother Jackie, and brother James shared their memories during an interview with Katie Couric.


Daniel Barden's family: Brother James, father Mark, and mother Jackie gathered Monday to share memories of the beloved boy


Grief: Mark and Jackie Barden remembered their son Daniel as 'an old soul' who teachers praised for his unusual empathy

The family remembered Daniel as a thoughtful boy who went out of his way to make sure others were taken care of.

Mark said that if his son saw another student alone at school, he'd try to talk to them.

'He would ask the teacher, 'Can I be excused to go sit with them,' because they were all alone. At 4,' Mark said. 'Every teacher conversation we had we used to have the exact same thing…'

'How unusual he was,' mother Jackie completed. 'He was like an old soul.'

'Our son had so much love to give to this world,' Mark said. 'He was supposed to have a whole lifetime of bringing that light to the world. And, everyone, all of us, have suffered a loss because that won't be realized.'


Goodbyes: James said his brother kissed him goodbye on the last day of his life, chasing him down the driveway in 22 degree weather


Holidays: Pictured in front of his brother and sister, Daniel Barden was looking forward to Christmas

Daniel's father Mark Barden described the family's last morning with his son as one of surprising fullness.

'We got up early and we went to play foosbabll that morning before school,' Mark remembered.

'Then Mark taught them to play Jingle Bells on the piano,' Jackie added.

'Yeah,' Mark smiled. 'We did a lot in that half hour.'


On the town: Daniel (middle) loved going out with his family and having fun

Daniel had got up early that morning because he wanted to give his brother, who left earlier, a kiss goodbye.

'He ran down the driveway so he could do it and it was 22 degrees out,' Mark said. 'He was exceptional.'

The family said Mark's older brother James had spent much of the weekend counseling his younger sister.


Ignore him: Daniel's family said they don't think about shooter Lanza as there's no reason to

For much of the interview James sat silently on the couch, face covered with his hands.

'He was just so sweet and kind and thoughtful,' James said. 'He would always .. he was always good at making sure the lights were all turned off and he'd close the doors. He was just very thoughtful.'

One person who won't be in the Barden's thoughts is shooter Adam Lanza.

Couric asked the family what they thought of Lanza during the end of the interview.

'I don't,' Mark said. 'Not interested. We're concerned with the families that have suffered this horrible loss. It's about them.'

Killer: Adam Lanza may have had a much broader plan when he forced his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday

Killer: Adam Lanza shot and murdered 27 people Friday, 20 of them schoolchildren