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Nisswa family loses granddaughter in Connecticut school shooting

Grief arrived in the lakes area with the news of the massacre of small children in Connecticut.

Any number of people have a 6-year-old close to their heart, or well-loved child, small or grown. But for a Nisswa family, the devastating news hit closer to home as their 6-year-old granddaughter was one of the children who died in a senseless loss of young, promising life.

Irene Hagen of Nisswa, received a call about the lockdown at the school in Newtown, Conn. where her daughter, JoAnn Hagen Bacon, a Nisswa native, lives with her family.

“Later in the day, we found out Charlotte was one of the children killed,” Irene Hagen, 76, told the Star Tribune. “It’s surreal; we can’t get through it and to it.”

Charlotte Bacon, her 10-year-old brother, Guy, and her parents called Newtown, Conn. home. Hagen described her curly red-headed granddaughter as sweet, energetic, bright, precocious, strong-willed. The child wanted to be a veterinarian, her grandmother told the Star Tribune.

“On the day she died, Charlotte had set her heart on wearing a brand-new pink dress her mother had bought,” Hagen said of an early holiday present. “Her mom didn’t want her to wear that dress quite yet, but Charlotte insisted. So JoAnn combed Charlotte’s curly hair into pigtails and fastened them with pink bows.”

The family told WCCO, seventeen members were traveling to Connecticut Monday morning to be there for Charlotte’s funeral. The family could not be reached by phone Sunday afternoon.

Hagen told the Star Tribune her family didn’t know the 20-year-old shooter.

“You wonder what would possess someone at 20 years of age to be so evil, to do something like this to small children?” She said. “This is something just so unexpected. The magnitude of it is overwhelming.”

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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