The U.S. Justice Department’s Office for Victims of Crime said today it was making a $2.9 million grant from a program to help terrorism victims to support services for the victims of the shootings in the Aurora, Co. movie theater on July 20, 2012. The Justice Department said the total number of victims of this crime is more than 1,500. This includes the twelve killed, sixty-nine wounded and their families, other people in the theater complex at that time, people evacuated from an apartment complex where explosive devices were discovered, and first responders to the emergency.
The Colorado Department of Public Safety is the primary recipient of the three-year award funded through the Antiterrorism and Emergency Assistance Program. In 1995, after the Oklahoma City bombing, Congress authorized the crime victim agency to administer up to $50 million annually from the Crime Victims Fund for the Antiterrorism Emergency Reserve Fund to assist victims in extraordinary circumstances. The program also helped victims after the prominent shootings in Tucson, Az. (2011); Binghamton, NY (2009); and at Virginia Tech (2007).