SHERRILL, NY (WSYR-TV) - An Oneida County family is grieving the loss of their six-year-old grandson after he was killed in the shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut on Friday.
City of Sherrill Mayor William Vineall tells NewsChannel 9 that Jack and Kathy Radley's grandson, James Mattioli, was one of the children killed inside Sandy Hook Elementary school.
The Radleys live in Sherrill. Their daughter, the boy's mother Cynthia, grew up in Central New York before moving to Newtown. Neighbors of the family say they are still shaken by the connection to their small city.
Pastor William Mesmer of St. Helena's Church welcomed some of the Radley's distraught friends during the weekend.
"Much of our mass on Saturday dealt with the tragedy," Mesmer said. "It gave people an opportunity to meet and pray and talk about it."
Leo Maloney of Sherrill has been friends with Jack Radley since they graduated Camden High School together.
Maloney spoke to News Channel 9 about how the small city is helping the Radley family cope with the tragedy.
“It obviously became very personal when we found out the bad news” Maloney said.
It was difficult enough for Maloney to comprehend the tragedy as it unfolded Friday, but the real shock came when he recognized the name of the Connecticut town.
His friend’s grandson went to elementary school in Newtown.
“And then the more they showed the name and scenes of the town we were aware the tragedy would strike home,” Maloney said.
Maloney said he immediately called Radley and learned Radley's grandson had been killed.
Maloney is not alone in praying for his friend's family.
“In a small town, everybody knows everybody. So, it’s very personal,” said Maloney.
When asked if the community has other plans to console and support the Radley family Maloney said, “plans are indefinite. Everybody is still in a state of shock.”
Investigators released the names of all the victims on Saturday. James Mattioli, 6, was listed alongside 19 other children, killed during a day at school.