Families of Connecticut shooting victims may each get $281,000

NEWTOWN, Connecticut Thu Jul 11, 2013 11:49pm EDT

A mourner holds a placard as residents gather outside the town hall to observe the six-month anniversary of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut June 14, 2013. REUTERS/Michelle McLoughlin

A mourner holds a placard as residents gather outside the town hall to observe the six-month anniversary of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut June 14, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Michelle McLoughlin

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NEWTOWN, Connecticut (Reuters) - The families of the 20 children and six adults who were killed when a gunman opened fire at a Connecticut elementary school in December should each get $281,000 from donations that poured in after the shooting, a committee recommended on Thursday.

The families of the 12 children who witnessed and survived the attack at Sandy Hook Elementary School would each get $20,000 and two teachers who were injured would get a combined $150,000.

The remaining $3.7 million of the $11.4 million in donations raised with the help of the United Way charity would be set aside as a community fund, according to the Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation, which is overseeing the donations. The committee gave no details on how the money in the community fund would be used.

The committee will make a final decision by July 15.

Advising the committee was Kenneth Feinberg, an attorney who also oversaw compensation for victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks, the theater shootings in Aurora, Colorado, and the Boston Marathon bombing.

"Solomon himself could not distribute this money in a fashion that everyone would find fair," he told the more than 50 gathered at a public meeting in Newtown on Thursday evening. "Money is a pretty poor substitute for loss of life."

Indeed, many voiced frustration that the entire sum had not been given to families and survivors.

"The public gave money after seeing the faces of those precious children and brave school staff who were senselessly murdered on December 14," said Caryn Kaufman, who described herself as an advocate for victims of violence. "The public intent was clear - to help ease the burden of those families who lost the most that day. Period."

David Lewis, whose grandson, Jesse, was among the slain children, said he was surprised that so much money would go into a community fund.

"If a person gives a donation, I think they expect the money to go directly to the victims," Lewis said.

Robert Accomando, a Newtown resident, also faulted the decision to create a community fund. As the director of a separate effort, the My Sandy Hook Family Fund, he said he had ensured that all of the $1.6 million raised went to the 26 families.

The committee is made up of retired federal Judge Alan Nevas, and two Newtown residents, John Woodall and Joe Smialowski.

"We had absolutely no say in the amount decided upon for the victims. That was strictly decided by the board who appointed us, and our only charge was to find a protocol that we deemed fair," Nevas said.

(Reporting by Richard Weizel; Editing by Edith Honan, Phil Berlowitz and Lisa Shumkaer)

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Comments (6)
Telstar wrote:
Someone needs to learn math a

Jul 12, 2013 3:41am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Big2Tex wrote:
Once the parents of the slain children turned their grief into political activism against gun owners and sucked up to Emperor Obama, they lost any sympathy. Their deceased kids deserved better for sure. What a disgrace.

Jul 12, 2013 6:01am EDT  --  Report as abuse
mbaker1965 wrote:
There was $22 Million dollars raised for these people and all they get is $281,000 each. That is just $7,306,000 out of $22,000,000. Where is the rest going. This is why our government sucks. Split all the money up and give it out to those people. They deserve it.

I seriously hope our government fails like Egypt so the people round up and toss out the trash.

Jul 12, 2013 6:36am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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