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Meeting Held Over Theater Shooting Victims Donations

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Reid Hettich with the 7/20 Recovery Committee (credit: CBS)

Reid Hettich with the 7/20 Recovery Committee (credit: CBS)

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – It’s been less than two months since the theater shooting in Aurora claimed 12 lives and injured dozens of others. Now there is more conflict over how to distribute donated money for the victims’ families.

Victims and their families received a survey from the 7/20 Recovery Committee. Some of them are happy but some are not about how the money has been sent out so far. They want the money that has been collected to be handed out faster. That included Melisa Cowden, whose ex-husband Gordon Cowden was killed. She wants the fundraising group Community First to release the $5 million they have.

Cowden met with the 7/20 Recovery Committee on Saturday.

“Tell me how a 16-year-old must feel wondering, ‘How am I going to go to college? What’s going to happen in my future?’ ” Cowden said. “I have four kids who lost financial support and the love of their dad. You can’t put that person with a person who was traumatized by running out of a theater.”

“There’s no way to quantify anybody’s loss, physical injury, or the loss of a loved one,” Reid Hettich with the 7/20 Recovery Committee said. “So it’s difficult from that standpoint, but it’s our intent to hear from as many people as possible, and do that as compassionately as possible and to make the right choices and right decisions.”

One of the questions on the survey asks the victims to ranks the importance of how to distribute the money. The categories include the seriously injured, physically injured, families of the deceased, traumatized people in Theater 9 and 8, traumatized people in the theater complex, and evacuees of the Paris Street Apartments where suspect James Holmes lived.

Some people are willing to be patient while others are not. The announcement of how the money will be distributed is said to be coming sometime in November.

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