Some Vegas shooting victims want donation plan revised

2017-11-29 12:03
Kimberly King, survivor of the October 1 Las Vegas mass shooting, speaks before the Las Vegas Victims Fund committee on November 28, in Las Vegas. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye, Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP)

Kimberly King, survivor of the October 1 Las Vegas mass shooting, speaks before the Las Vegas Victims Fund committee on November 28, in Las Vegas. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye, Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Las Vegas - Some victims injured in the mass shooting at an outdoor music festival in Las Vegas on Tuesday asked a committee in charge of distributing millions of dollars in donations to rework a plan to divide the money.

The request came during an emotional meeting in which some victims cried as they described their injuries and recounted how they escaped the deadliest shooting in modern US history.

The 16-member committee is gathering public input on the plan through town halls, mail and email before it is finalised.

The current proposal calls for the roughly $16m donated to be distributed to relatives of the people killed and to those who were hospitalised. Injured victims who were not hospitalised told the committee they should be compensated, too.

"I may not have had a bullet put in my body, but I feel like a bullet has been put in my head, and in my soul and my heart – and my life is forever changed," Michelle Leonard, a vendor at the music festival, said as she sobbed.

Her leg was injured when she was trampled trying to escape the gunfire and she is unable to be on her feet.

A high-stakes gambler killed 58 people and injured more than 500 on October 1 when he opened fire from the Mandalay Bay hotel-casino on the country music festival before killing himself.

Raising funds for victims

Donations for the victims began to pour in within hours of the shooting. A GoFundMe page has collected about $11.5m. More money was collected by the Direct Impact Fund, a non-profit affiliated with GoFundMe, and the National Compassion Fund, which was created by victims and families of mass casualty events.

Other funds have used the length of hospital stays to determine the amount of money provided to injured victims. And in the case of the shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, people who received outpatient treatment and those who were uninjured also received part of the donations.

Under the plan for Las Vegas victims, most of the money would go to relatives of those killed or victims whose injuries left them with permanent brain damage or paralysis, requiring constant home care.

Scott Nielson, president of a consulting firm and former executive at Station Casinos, is heading the committee. He said the group "will definitely make some changes to the draft protocol".

But striking a balance will not be easy given the number of victims. While there were more than 300 people inside the Orlando nightclub and over $29.5m raised in donations, 22 000 people were present at the Las Vegas venue.

"You want to acknowledge that every single person who was there counts as a victim," said Jeff Dion, who led the Tuesday town hall and is deputy director of the National Centre for Victims of Crime. "But at the end of the day, because of the amount of money that's raised and the number of people that were impacted, we give them a check for $27? I think that almost feels insulting."

Read more on:    us  |  us shootings  |  las vegas shooting

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.