The families of victims of last month’s shooting rampage at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater bitterly criticized the fundraising campaign for victims Tuesday, saying they have been shut out of aid decisions and received relatively little money, according to CNN and the Associated Press.
At a news conference attended by relatives of 11 of the 12 people slain in the July 20 attack, family members demanded a say in how the more than $5-million raised to date by the Aurora Victims Relief Fund is spent. Families of the 70 people killed or wounded have received $5,000 each from the fund, administered by the Colorado-based Community First Foundation.
“When you generate donations for a fund called ‘the Aurora Victim Relief Fund’ using pictures and names of our murdered loved ones, it would stand to reason the fund is for victims of the Aurora shooting,” said Tom Teves, whose son Alex was among the fatalities.
The Community First Foundation said earlier this month that it had distributed $350,000 to the Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance to disburse among the victims and another $100,000 to 10 nonprofit organizations.
Marla J. Williams, the foundation’s president, said it had set up a group to make spending recommendations but had not yet chosen representatives for the victims. She said a judicial gag order on releasing information about the victims had made it difficult to track down all those affected and determine who speaks for them.