Daniel Barden was a happy 7-year-old who lived in the same neighborhood as the young man accused of shooting 20 children Friday at their school, neighbors said.

Dylan Hockley, 6, was a playful boy whose family moved to the same Newtown neighborhood after living in England.

Both died Friday when their neighbor, Adam Lanza, opened fire in their school, killing 18 other children and six adults.

"Just normal, happy kids," said Nicole Germak, 12, who had attended Sandy Hook Elementary School, where the shootings occurred.

Daniel could often be seen playing around the neighborhood with friends, she said.

The Hockleys live very close to the home of Adam Lanza and his mother, Nancy Lanza, on Yogananda Street, in the leafy subdivision of two-story homes and manicured lawns, said Nicole's father, Nick Germak, who also lives in the neighborhood.

Police said Sunday that Lanza shot his mother multiple times in their home before going to the school.

The Hockleys have swing sets in their yard and are pleasant neighbors, Germak said. Chase Kowalski, 7, who also died in the attack, lived nearby as well, Germak said.

"Your heart breaks," he said.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Nicole added, "It's a lot to take."

Nick Germak said neighbors have been trying to come to grips with the deaths and the fact that they lived so close to the shooter.

"I think they're numb," he said.