Las Vegas Victims' Fund town hall left some 1 October survivors - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Las Vegas Victims' Fund town hall left some 1 October survivors feeling left out

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An exterior view of the Mandalay Bay hotel (FOX5). An exterior view of the Mandalay Bay hotel (FOX5).
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

Almost two months after the 1 October shooting, the 16-person Las Vegas Victims' Fund committee held two town halls on Tuesday to talk to the community about how they should distribute the more than $16 million raised. 

The town halls were held at the Clark County Government Center, where people gathered for a morning and then a night meeting explained the Victims Fund Protocol made public November 16th. 

Per the draft, families of those who were killed in the shooting or of people with permanent brain damage or paralysis would get the most money from the fund. 

People physically hurt who spent at least one night in the hospital within 48-hours of the shooting would also get money. 

Those not included in the current draft: people who were treated as outpatients and didn't spend the night at the hospital,  or those with mental trauma or PTSD following the shooting. 

Jeff Dion represented the National Center for Victims of Crime, the group helping local government distribute the donations. He led the town halls and laid out the requirements to receive funds. 

"I'd like to ask for a moment of silence and prayers for all of those who were killed, injured, or otherwise impacted by the terrible events of 1 October," Dion said. 

His moment of silence didn't last long as victim after victim took to the mic to share their trauma.  

Michelle Leonard, who is now forced to move in a wheelchair after being trampled in the 1 October chaos, said she felt left out under the current draft. 

"I may not have had a bullet put through my body, but I feel like a bullet has been put through my head and my soul and my heart, and my life is forever changed," Leonard said. 

Some speakers said they wished more emphasis was placed on all injuries, not just hospitalization. 

" I'd really like to ask that the hospitalization does not hold as big of a weight as you previously thought because even though I did not go to the hospital, I did sustain an injury," the speaker said. 

Sue Ann Cornwell was at the Route 91 Music Festival. She described hearing the gunshots, watching bullets hit the speaker next to her. Telling her sister to get down and covering her with her own body. 

Cornwell said she's staying strong, but that her sister is having a lot of mental stress following the shooting. 

"Include the people that were there that were mentally affected that did not seek help," she asked the committee.

Dion told FOX5 he understands that trauma. 

"Psychological trauma is real and it's devastating and it needs to be recognized," he said. 

But with limited funds, he said the biggest problem members of the committee face is getting a limited amount of money to so many people affected by the tragedy. 

He said 1 October, in particular, has proved more difficult to distribute. He said the biggest fund they distributed before this was Pulse Shooting, where around 300 people were inside the nightclub. 

"This event is 60 times bigger and I think they are just struggling with the appropriate balance of how do we help all the people that need help on her people with the money that we have and not end up giving people a check for $37," Dion said. 

Those who wish to comment on the distribution protocol can do so until December 8th. The Victims Fund committee will announce the final distribution on December 15th. Victims will be able to apply to get funds throughout January. Approved victims and their families could be receiving funds late February or early March. 

To comment on the protocol send an email to comments@lasvegasvictimsfund.org

You can find more information on applying to the victims' fund and the complete protocol at https://lasvegasvictimsfund.org

Copyright 2017 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved. 

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