Aurora theater shooting victims still frustrated with relief fund

Victims complain about access to $5M relief fund

AURORA, Colo. - Aurora theater shooting victims' families have scheduled a Thursday news conference, saying they're still frustrated with a process to distribute $5 million in public donations two weeks after an apparent resolution was reached regarding the Aurora Victim Relief Fund.

"Something is broken in Colorado," said Anita Bush, whose cousin, Micayla Medek, was among the 12 people killed during the July 20 shooting rampage that also wounded 58 people at the Century 16 theater.

After meeting with charity groups and public officials in late August, Busch said victims still don't believe they have as much say as they want in the dispersal of public donations.

Busch said victims and their families are "truly suffering" and don't have money to pay for medicine, groceries and rent.

"After three meetings of the 7/20 Recovery Committee, it is clear that the fund is not going to be dispersed to victims in a timely manner of 30 to 45 days as expected, nor has any real progress been made," victims said in a news release Wednesday.

Arizona resident Tom Teves, whose 24-year-old son, Alex Teves, was killed in the attack, will read a statement on "the surprising lack of authority of the 7/20 Recovery Committee, thoughts about the survey given to victims last week and the impact all of this has on the victims and the fund," the release said.

Last month, families complained about their lack of voice in how funds were being spent. The so-called Aurora 12 group said the fund had collected more than $5 million using the victims' names and images, but only gave each family $5,000 for medical bills and other expenses.

This led to an Aug. 31 meeting between victims' families and officials from the Community First Foundation charity, the city of Aurora and the Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance.

Afterward, victims said that their demands had been met and they had gained veto power over how donations would be distributed.

7NEWS is seeking reaction from the Community First Foundation and other participants in the relief fund.

 

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