- (Photo: Reuters/Shannon Stapleton)
Aurora massacre victims and those who suffered permanent injuries in the horrific incident earlier this year will split the majority of the $5 million in donations raised to help those involved in the shootings, a governor-appointed mediator has confirmed on Monday.
Mediator Kenneth Feinberg explained Monday that there would be two classes of victims; firstly the families of the 12 people killed in the Aurora, Colo. movie theater shooting, as well as those who were permanently injured. That group will get about 70 percent of the funds, which equates to each getting about $200,000 of the $4,961,739 currently raised in the Aurora Victim Relief Fund, according to a statement from Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper's office.
The second group consists of those who suffered other physical injuries, and that group will get the remaining 30 percent of the fund. It will be divided according to the number of days the victims were hospitalized. Feinberg explained that within this group there would be those identified as "victims hospitalized for 20 days or more; victims hospitalized for between eight and 19 days; and victims hospitalized between one and seven days."
According to official records there were 58 people wounded in the tragedy.
The mediator, however, also explained that due to the limited nature of the funds, those who were injured but did not require any overnight hospitalization, as well as those who have claimed for mental trauma suffered in the incident, would not be able to be compensated through the fund.
Gov. Hickenlooper has said in a released statement: "We are extremely grateful to Ken Feinberg for his service to victims and their families and to the state of Colorado."
It added, "He has proven once again why he is the nation's leading expert in handling these kinds of matters. Those most impacted by the theater shooting are best served by a speedy and fair distribution of the Aurora Victim Relief Fund and Ken is delivering as promised."
Feinberg was also appointed to oversee the distribution of compensation funds for the victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks, and is widely regarded as the expert in such matters.
The July 20 Aurora Colorado shootings took place when former University of Colorado-Denver graduate James Holmes entered a movie theater with numerous weapons and opened fire on moviegoers watching a premiere showing of the latest Batman film, "The Dark Knight Rises."