/ 17 November 2012

Families of murdered Colorado theatre-goers to be compensated

The shooting occurred in a cinema in Aurora
The shooting occurred in a cinema in Aurora

The fund was created by private donations, the Denver Post reported Friday.

Five victims who suffered permanent brain damage or physical paralysis in the killing spree also will receive $220 000 each. The money will be disbursed in the next few days.

The total amount donated to the fund reached more than $5.3-million, the newspaper reported. It was administered by Ken Feinberg, a lawyer specialising in mediation who served as special master of the US government's September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.

Feinberg was recruited to mediate between victims of the theater shooting and the fund's co-creators – the governor's office and a nonprofit community foundation, the newspaper said.

Thirty-eight of 57 claims filed were approved by Feinberg. Smaller graduated payouts will be made people who were hospitalised. Victims who did not require overnight hospitalisation and those who filed claims for mental trauma received no payout because of limited funds, a spokesperson for the governor said.

The accused gunman, James Holmes, a former neuroscience student, faces 152 charges including 24 counts of first degree murder. The shooting occurred in a cinema in Aurora, a suburb of Denver, Colorado during the premiere of the Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises. – Sapa-dpa