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Puerto Rico family mourns after US school shooting

Balloons hang on a sign at the entrance to Sandy School on December 15, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut. AFP

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico: Puerto Rican relatives of one of the 20 children killed at an elementary school in Connecticut said the family of a 6-year-old girl who was shot had moved to the U.S. just two months before the tragedy.

The parents of Ana Grace Marquez had moved from Canada to Connecticut and enrolled the girl at Sandy Hook Elementary School because of its good reputation, the girl's grandmother, Elba Marquez, told The Associated Press late Friday.

"They looked for the best school for their daughter, the best," Marquez said, adding that she had flown there for Thanksgiving.

She said the family had moved to the area because Ana Grace's mother had been hired to teach at a local university.

"It was a beautiful place, just beautiful," Elba Marquez said. "What happened does not match up with the place where they live."

Elba Marquez's brother, Jorge Marquez, who is mayor of a Puerto Rican town, said Ana Grace had a 9-year-old brother who was at the school during the shooting.

"He was in another classroom," he said.

The family flew from Puerto Rico to Connecticut early Saturday for the girl's funeral.

Angel Marquez Perez, who is Elba Marquez's cousin, said the 6-year-old girl was born in the U.S. and had visited Puerto Rico for the first time last year, spending Christmas and New Year's with her extended family.

"They had a wonderful time," Angel Marquez, 71, said. "We're the kind of family who likes to have a good time."

 

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