Newtown shootings: The victims

Most of the 26 people killed by gunman Adam Lanza at a school in Connecticut on Friday were children aged just six or seven.

The six adults who died included the head teacher of Sandy Hook Elementary School, Dawn Hochsprung.

Police in Connecticut have released a full list of the names of those who died.

Here is what we know so far about the victims of one of America's deadliest school shootings.

Dawn Hochsprung, 47

The head teacher of Sandy Hook Elementary viewed her school as a model, telling the Newtown Bee newspaper in 2010: "I don't think you could find a more positive place to bring students to every day."

In October she shared a picture of the school's evacuation drill with the message "Safety first."

Officials said she died while lunging at the gunman in an attempt to overtake him.

Dawn Hochsprung was married and was the mother of two daughters and three step-daughters. She became head teacher at Sandy Hook in 2010.

Friends talk of her infectious laughter.

Victoria Soto, 27

Investigators told relatives that she was killed while shielding her pupils.

She hid some in a bathroom or closet, ensuring they were safe, and then told the gunman that her class was in the gym.

Her cousin Jim Wiltsie told ABC News: "She was trying to shield, get her children into a closet and protect them from harm. And by doing that, put herself between the gunman and the children."

He added: "She lost her life doing what she loved."

Victoria Soto grew up in Stratford, Connecticut and graduated from Eastern Connecticut State University. Her father worked for the state transport department and her mother is a nurse.

She was studying for a master's degree in special education.

Mary Sherlach, 56

When the shooting started, school psychologist Mary Sherlach ran toward the shooter along with Ms Hochsprung, according to superintendent of Newtown Public Schools Janet Robinson.

Those who knew her called her a wonderful neighbour and a dedicated educator.

Her husband, William, told US media: "She considered what she was doing as God's work - that's all you need to know about her".

Her son-in-law, Eric Schwartz, told the South Jersey Times that she relished helping children overcome their problems. She had planned to leave work early on Friday, he said. He told reporters the loss was devastating but that Sherlach was doing what she loved.

Mary Sherlach was the mother of two daughters, Maura, 28, and Katy, 25.

Lauren Rousseau, 30

Lauren Rousseau's mother, Teresa, said Lauren had spent years working as a substitute teacher and was thrilled when she finally become a full-time teacher at Sandy Hook.

"It was the best year of her life," she told the Danbury News-Times, where she is a copy editor.

Lauren Rousseau had planned to see the film The Hobbit with her boyfriend on Friday and had baked cakes for a party they were to attend afterward. She was a graduate of the University of Connecticut and the University of Bridgeport.

Anne Marie Murphy, 52

Her father, Hugh McGowan, told US media that emergency officials had called Anne Marie Murphy a hero for her attempts to protect her charges.

The special education teacher, who had four children of her own, placed herself in front of her class. Her body was found covering children.

Anne Marie Murphy was born in New York State and was described by her mother as a "happy soul".

"She was a very good daughter, a good mother, a good wife. We loved being together."

Rachel D'Avino, 29

Rachel D'Avino was a behavioural therapist, helping children with autism. She had only recently started working at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Her boyfriend had recently asked her parents for her hand in marriage, and was intending to propose to her on Christmas Eve, her obituary on a funeral home website said.

"Her presence and tremendous smile brightened any room she entered," it said. "Rachel loved animals, cooking, baking, photography, and karate. She was an adoring big sister who cherished her two younger siblings like they were her own children."

Her friend, Lissa Lovetere, first met D'Avino in 2005 when the therapist was assigned to help her autistic son in the town of Bethlehem.

"Her job didn't end when the school bell rang at 3 o'clock," Ms Lovetere said.

She said Ms D'Avino was so dedicated that she would make home visits and offer any advice she could.

"I think she taught me more about how to be a good mother to a special needs child than anyone else ever had."

Emilie Parker, 6

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Media captionEmilie told her father she loved him as he left for work, he says

Father Robbie Parker, 30, was one of the first parents to publicly talk about his loss. He said Emilie, the older of his three children, "could just light up a room".

He told reporters that she loved to try new things - except food.

"My wife and I don't understand how to process this and how to get our lives going. I don't know how to get through something like this," he said.

Ana Marquez-Greene, 6

Ana is the daughter of jazz saxophonist Jimmy Greene, who had just started a new job at Western Connecticut State University.

"As much as she's needed here and missed by her mother, brother and me, Ana beats us all to paradise. I love you sweetie girl," her father wrote on Facebook.

The child's grandmother, Elba Marquez, said the family had moved to Connecticut from Canada earlier this year, drawn in part by Sandy Hook's glowing reputation.

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

Ms Marquez said Ana's nine-year-old brother was also at the school, but escaped safely.

Jimmy Greene named a composition after Ana, 'Ana Grace' on his 2009 album, 'Mission Statement'.

Dylan Hockley, 6

In an interview with local newspaper the Newtown Bee earlier this year, Dylan Hockley's mother Nicole said the family had moved to the US from England two years ago. Father Ian Hockley previously worked in Southampton.

Prayers were said on Sunday for Dylan and his family in the English town of Eastleigh, in Hampshire, where they used to life. Neighbours there spoke of Dylan as a lovely, intelligent boy who enjoyed school.

The Hockleys are reported to have lived in Yogananda Street and were neighbours of Adam and Nancy Lanza.

Grace McDonnell, 7

"We are overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support from so many people," Grace's parents, Chris and Lynn, said in a statement to the Washington Post newspaper.

"Our daughter Grace was the love and light of our family. Words cannot adequately express our sense of loss."

Her grandmother, Mary Ann McDonnell, said Grace loved wearing pink and dressing up, and enjoyed art, gymnastics, football and her small spaniel Puddin'.

"She was a wonderful little girl. She was always smiling," Mary Ann McDonnell said.

Noah Pozner, 6

He attended Sandy Hook school with his twin sister, Arielle, and an older sister, Sophia, 8. Arielle was in a different class and survived the attack, as did Sophia.

Noah had celebrated Hanukkah the Saturday before the shooting with his uncle, Arthur, in Brooklyn.

His uncle described him as very inquisitive and intelligent: "For a six-year-old, he was a very smart kid."

Olivia Engel, 6

Olivia was a happy child, with a great sense of humour, who enjoyed school and was doing well, her family said in a statement.

Her uncle, John Engel, said she "lit up a room and the people around her". A friend of the family described her as a "wiggly, smiley six-year-old".

She loved art, drawing and designing, played tennis and football and took several dance classes.

"She was a great big sister and was always very patient with her three-year-old brother, Brayden," her family said.

Olivia had been cast to play an angel in a Nativity play in St Rose of Lima church on Saturday, the Reverend Robert Weiss told the Reuters news agency.

Catherine Hubbard, 6

In a statement released to the media, her parents Matthew and Jennifer Hubbard said: "We are greatly saddened by the loss of our beautiful daughter, Catherine Violet, and our thoughts and prayers are with the other families who have been affected by this tragedy. We ask that you continue to pray for us and the other families who have experienced loss in this tragedy."

Charlotte Bacon, 6

Charlotte was supposed to have kept her brand new pink dress and boots for the holidays, but had persuaded her mother to let her wear them to school on Friday, said her uncle John Hagen.

"She was going to go some places in this world," he told local media. "This little girl could light up the room for anyone".

Her older brother Guy also attended the school, but escaped the shooting.

Daniel Barden, 7

The youngest of three children, Daniel was "fearless in the pursuit of happiness in life... earning his ripped jeans and missing two front teeth", the family said in a statement.

"Words really cannot express what a special boy Daniel was," they said. "Such a light. Always smiling, unfailingly polite, incredibly affectionate, fair and so thoughtful towards others, imaginative in play, both intelligent and articulate in conversation; in all a constant source of laughter and joy."

Jesse Lewis, 6

Jesse's father Neil Heslin described his son as a happy boy, who was doing well in school and "going to go places in life".

He particularly enjoyed playing at his mother's farm, and had "been on horses since he was a year-and-a-half old", Mr Heslin told the New York Post.

Mr Heslin said he had been planning to return to school later on Friday to help Jesse and the rest of his classmates make gingerbread houses.

Jessica Rekos, 6

Jessica was a "creative, beautiful little girl who loved playing with her little brothers, Travis and Shane", her family said.

She loved "everything about horses", enjoyed writing in her journals, and had become fascinated with killer whales after watching the movie Free Willy, they said.

The family described her as their "rock" and said they "cannot imagine our life without her".

"She had an answer for everything, she didn't miss a trick, and she outsmarted us every time. We called her our little CEO for the way she carefully thought out and planned everything," they said.

Jack Pinto, 6

Jack Pinto was a huge fan of the New York Giants, and idolised one of the team's star players Victor Cruz.

The Giants paid tribute to all the victims of the shooting during its game on Sunday, but Victor Cruz wore Jack's name on his shoes and gloves in a personal tribute to his young fan.

Josephine Gay, 7

Josephine is reported to have celebrated her seventh birthday on Tuesday, just three days before the massacre.

Chase Kowalski, 7

Chase was a boy who was always outside, playing in the garden or backyard, riding his bicycle.

A neighbour said that just last week he had been describing winning his first mini-triathlon.

"You couldn't think of a better child," Kevin Grimes said.

James Mattioli, 6

Described as a "numbers guy" by his family, six-year-old James loved maths and would often come up with insights beyond his years to explain the relationship between numbers.

He was born four weeks before his due date and his family often joked that he came into the world early because he was hungry.

In his obituary they described James' love of hamburgers with ketchup, his dad's omelettes with bacon and his mum's French toast. He often asked to stop at a popular sandwich shop and ask how old he needed to be to order a foot-long sandwich.

A thoughtful and considerate boy, they said he recently chose to give up a gift for himself and use the money instead to buy his grandfather a mug for Christmas.

The other young victims are:

Madeleine Hsu, 6; Caroline Previdi, 6; Avielle Richman, 6; Benjamin Wheeler, 6; Allison Wyatt, 6.

Nancy Lanza, 52

Nancy Lanza appears to have been the first victim of her son Adam, who shot her dead at their home before making his way to Sandy Hook school.

She has been described as a friendly, considerate and generous neighbour, who enjoyed games nights, gardening and craft beers.

She was also a gun enthusiast, and it was her weapons that Adam used in his rampage. She reportedly took her sons target shooting, although friends have described her as a responsible gun owner.

Nancy Lanza had home-schooled Adam for several years after she had "battled" with school system officials over how to educate her highly-intelligent but socially awkward son, her sister-in-law Marsha said.

She was left "very well off" after divorce from husband Peter in 2009, and was "always there for" Adam and his older brother Ryan, Marsha Lanza said.