Controversy and confusion surrounding the payouts from funds raised for the victims of the July shooting in Chattanooga continues.
Questions have been raised about who really qualifies as a “victim” in this case. It appears to be a broad term, according to officials handling the funds, who’ve included more than just the families of the fallen service members.
News Channel 9 reports that after five servicemen died in Chattanooga, donations poured in to the Compassion Fund — a program of the National Center for Victims of Crime. The fund specifically names the five service members killed and the two others injured, as victims and as those benefiting from the fundraiser.
According to the Chattanooga Compassion Fund, more than $467,000 dollars has been distributed to the victims of the July 16 shootings.
Most of the money reportedly went to the families of the four Marines and one Navy sailor who died that day. Funds were also provided to the wounded Marine and police officer who were injured in the shooting.
In addition to the families of the fallen servicemen, civilians and emergency responders — who filed claims stating that they had been traumatized by the event — received funds also. All of them were either at the military recruiting center on Lee Highway or the Naval Reserve Center on Amnicola Hwy., on July 16th.
Benefit concerts in the area also brought in thousands of dollars in donations. Compassion Fund co-chair Bob Crates says 62 victims received a part of that money.
Some residents are confused about why so many other people benefited from this tragedy. Crates explained that anyone involved in the incident, who received funds, was “interviewed by the FBI and adjudicated,” then given an opportunity to apply for consideration or sign a waiver saying, ‘no I was not traumatized.’
A woman exercising at the nearby ‘Riverwalk’ at the time of the shooting reportedly received some funding to cover costs of an ankle injury, according to Crates.
News Channel 9 has submitted an open records request to the National Compassion Fund for the complete list of victims in this case.
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