NEW YORK, Dec. 16 (UPI) -- Actress-singer Jenna von Oy penned an essay for People.com expressing her grief after Friday's elementary school massacre in her Connecticut hometown.
A 20-year-old gunman shot his mother at their Newtown home Friday morning, then traveled to the Sandy Hook K-4 school where he shot and killed 20 first-graders and six adults, before turning a gun on himself.
Von Oy, 35, is best known for her work on TV's "The Parkers" and "Blossom." She grew up in Newtown -- where her family still lives -- and celebrated her wedding and daughter's christening there.
The star offered her condolences to her heartbroken community in the essay published online Saturday.
"Every school shooting I've ever heard about has been exceedingly heartbreaking and has stirred feelings of both rage and sorrow in me. Each one is tragic and awful, and there have been far too many of them in recent years," von Oy wrote in the People.com essay. "But Friday's massacre in Newtown has affected me in a profoundly personal way, as I have a unique perspective on the town ... I am blessed to have grown up there. ...
"We are mourning the loss of some of our own this week, and it is a sobering reminder that violence does not discriminate. It can hit close to home," she wrote. "I am fiercely proud to say I was born and raised in Newtown. It is where I was brought home from the hospital, attended my first day of kindergarten, learned to ride my bike and climbed my first tree. As I watched President Obama's press conference, I sobbed as he mentioned that the children who died had their whole lives ahead of them: graduations, weddings, having children of their own. I have celebrated every one of those milestones in Newtown. ... It is nearly impossible to unscramble my thoughts and put them to paper at a time like this, but I wanted to express my love and support for the town that has given me so many wonderful memories."