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Victims’ Families Appear To Have Resolved Donations Issue

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An image of the victims' families (credit: CBS)

An image of the victims’ families (credit: CBS)

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AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – Family members of the Aurora theater shooting victims appear to have resolved their differences over where the money from donations should go.

4 On Your Side Investigator Rick Sallinger has been following the controversy and was on hand Friday morning as a critical meeting took place.

The family members will have not only a place on what’s called the 7/20 Recovery Committee, but veto power over where the money is to go. And 100 percent is to be to the victims of the terrible shooting.

Melisa Cowden’s former husband Gordon was one of those killed. He was the father of their four children.

“As my daughter said, we don’t want to cash in on their dad’s death, but they have used him as a poster child, and because of that, my kids do deserve that money, as do the other 69 families,” Cowden said.

It was tentatively agreed that a victim will be defined as the families of those killed in the shooting, those injured, others in the theater at the time, and those who live in the same apartment building as the suspect James Holmes.

Richard Audsley is working as a special advisor to the 7/20 Recovery Committee.

“It was difficult meeting, a lot of emotion, but a very productive meeting,” Audsley said.

Just a few days earlier the families of the victims came together in protest over how the donations were being handled. They complained only a small percentage had gone to victims with some of it going to nonprofits. That includes Aurora Mental Health for Crisis Support, Aurora Public Schools for overtime and counseling, Bonfils Blood Center, and to the Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance for flights and other expenses for family members.

“Things need to happen quickly. There are people who are continually hurting day to day, every day, trying to make rent because they are taking care of their loved ones, trying to take care of medical costs that are continuing to build up,” victim’s family member Dave Hoover said.

Now they feel assured the victims fund will be only for the victims.

This weekend calls will be made by victims’ advocates to each of the victims to determine if they have any immediate emergency needs.

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