Some Las Vegas shooting victims want donation plan revised

LAS VEGAS - Some victims injured in the Las Vegas mass shooting are asking a committee in charge of distributing donations to rework a plan that would be used to divide the money.

A high-stakes gambler killed 58 people and injured more than 500 on Oct. 1 after shattering the windows of his hotel suite and unleashing gunfire on a music festival below. He then killed himself.

The proposal calls for donations to be distributed to the relatives of the people killed and to those who were hospitalized.

Injured victims who weren't hospitalized told the committee they should be compensated, too.

"We're going to have to say no to some people," said Scott Nielson, chairman, Las Vegas Victims' Fund Committee. "We're not going to be able to help everybody financially."

Attorney Brian Nettles represents hundreds of people seeking help.

"They are really in an unenviable position trying to figure out how to distribute those funds," Nettles said.

The committee heard from victims and their relatives Tuesday during an emotional meeting. Some victims cried as they described their injuries and how they escaped the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history.

Lillian Aguirre, a bartender at the Route 91 Harvest Festival said she has put her life on hold to process what has happened. She says she's even had to take a break from the program to get her doctorate's degree.

"My future is unsteady," Aguirre said. "Why is this important? I wouldn't have accomplished these goals without having employment that allows flexible hours, sufficient pay for my family's needs, and have the opportunity to work full time jobs, attend school and have part-time gigs."

However, under the current drafted protocol, Aguirre isn't eligible to receive benefits from the victims' fund, even though she's been receiving medical attention since that night.

"At this point, you need to have lost a loved one or you need to have at least one night of hospitalization just to be considered for the fund," Nettles explained.

"The ideal outcome is to simply raise as much money as possible and then distribute that in a transparent and equitable way," said Nielson. "That's the ideal outcome for us."

The town hall meetings were held Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. at the Clark County Government Center.

Written comments are also welcome at comments@lasvegasvictimsfund.org or by mail to Las Vegas Victims' Fund, P.O. Box 551111, Las Vegas, Nevada 89155-1111.

Here is a link to donate to the victims' fund.


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