(NEWTOWN, Conn.) — Parents of Sandy Hook massacre victims are petitioning the state of Connecticut to prevent the public release of graphic photos and audio taken of the tragic school shooting in Newtown, Conn.
“We feel very strongly that we need to protect that scene,” said Nicole Hockley, who lost her 6-year-old son Dylan in the shooting rampage. “Once these images are on the Internet they are out there forever and I don’t want my 8-year-old son to see these photos of his brother’s corpse when he is older.”
Nicole and her husband Ian Hockley, Mark and Jackie Barden, and Jimmy Greene and Nelba Marquez-Greene filed the petition on the website www.change.org on June 1. They are all parents of children who were murdered when Adam Lanza, 20, opened fire in Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012, killing 20 children and six adults.
Hockley started the petition after receiving calls from political groups asking for crime scene images and recordings taken by investigators. For Hockley, the issue is not just about privacy, but also public safety.
“We worry about copycat killers and the traumatic effect the material could have on people. Veteran first responders who saw what happened were completely traumatized,” she said.
Hockley’s comments come after film maker Michael Moore’s controversial call for the release of the graphic material to mobilize the gun control movement.
Moore wrote on his website on March 13, “because if we were to seriously look at the 20 slaughtered children – I mean really look at them, with their bodies blown apart, many of them so unrecognizable the only way their parents could identify them was by the clothes they were wearing – what would be our excuse not to act?”
Hockley is not convinced. “I am active in gun safety. I would certainly never use pictures of my son to further any gun control policy,” she said.
The petition had more than 11,000 signatures by Monday afternoon. “We got these signatures through word of mouth, without publicizing,” said Hockley. “A lot of people support us and have no interest in seeing these photos either.”
Hockley is looking to get as many signatures as possible to get the attention of Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy.
Moore did not immediately return a request from ABC News for comment.
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