Colorado shooting victims demand answers on public donations

Colorado shooting victims demand answers on public donations

DENVER (AP) — Several families and survivors of those killed in the March mass shooting at a Colorado supermarket have demanded the appointment of a special master to help distribute public donations for victims to a centralized account. They say the nonprofit groups handling the funds are not being transparent about donations provided to victims.

Their campaign has reopened a debate that emerged after past mass shootings over how Americans can best help alleviate the anguish of personal and financial losses that survivors endure after their lives have been shattered by senseless violence — and how the administrative costs of fund gathering and administration play a role.

The groups giving out donated money to survivors of the 10 people killed March 22 at the King Soopers market — Community Foundation Boulder County and the Colorado Healing Fund — defend their work and dispute that the appointment of a special master is needed. They have raised a collective $5.86 million so far.

Boulder resident John Mackenzie, whose wife, Lynn Murray, was among those killed, announced that he and three other victims’ families and supporters have created a group called StandUpBolder to demand that government officials intervene and audit the handling of the donations.

They’re also asking that Kenneth Feinberg be appointed special master to design and administer the relief effort. Feinberg is a Washington, D.C.-based attorney who oversaw compensation programs after the 9/11 terror attacks, the Boston Marathon bombing, the Pulse nightclub massacre in Florida, the Aurora, Colorado movie theater attack and many other mass shootings.

“Millions are being collected because of this tragedy,” Mackenzie said in an interview. “There is no victims’ fund. You don’t treat people this way, especially people who are grieving the loss of their loved ones in the most horrific way I can imagine.”

His 62-year-old wife was shopping at King Soopers when she was killed, following a long career as a photo editor and photographer for magazines including Cosmopolitan and Vogue. She and Mackenzie had two children.

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