Last week, we told you about the first lawsuit filed after the Aurora theater shooting, by a Beverly Hills lawyer representing an uninjured young man who didn't wind up on the list of people James Holmes is accused of trying to kill. Now come reports of a possible second lawsuit with a very different back-story. The possible filer: Shirley Wygal, whose daughter, Rebecca Wingo, was killed in the assault, leaving two young children behind.
The source this time around is the same as in the initial lawsuit report: TMZ. The site maintains that Wygal has hired a Los Angeles-based attorney -- and there's backup for this assertion via a tweet from CNN's Soledad O'Brien, who interviewed her yesterday:
Shirley Wygal, mother of shooting victim Rebecca Wingo, says she hired a lawyer as a precaution because she's not sure what to do yet.
— Starting Point CNN (@StartingPtCNN) July 30, 2012
According to TMZ, a potential suit would be more narrowly tailored that its predecessor, targeting only the theater company, rather than adding Warner Bros. (the studio behind The Dark Knight Rises, which was screening during the attack) and suspected shooter Holmes's doctors to the roster. The reported focus would be a lack of alarms on the theater's emergency-exit doors -- a credible area for exploration, given that authorities believe Holmes may have entered the theater like a typical patron, then propped the emergency doors open in order to step outside and arm himself prior to re-entry and attack.
During that CNN conversation, as 7News reports, Wygal mentioned the lack of alarms on the emergency doors in the context of conversations with Wingo's kids.
"How did he get in there? And, of course, there's no answer forthcoming," she said. "(Wingo's daughter) asked that question two or three times. And, you know, I think she deserves an answer to that question. I haven't been given an answer to that question."
Wingo was laid to rest during a private memorial this past Friday. Here's a note posted in advance of that service on the Rebecca Wingo -- In Memory Facebook page devoted to her.
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The day ahead is bittersweet...saying farewell will be heartbreaking beyond words. But celebrating our beautiful friend and feeling the collective love of so many people together in her honor will be a step toward healing. I know she'll be smiling and laughing with us as we remember her and celebrate the amazing spirit we were blessed to have known.
I can confirm the "celebrate" part of this last line. On Saturday evening, I was downtown to watch the Colorado Rockies lose (again) when my wife and I came upon a group of people wearing T-shirts commemorating Wingo and describing her as a rock star; she was a big music and concert fan.
Meanwhile, the GoFundMe website set up to raise money for the support of the children Wingo left behind has now surpassed its goal of $20,000; it was at $8,000 a week ago at this time. Of course, this amount of money will not come close to covering the needs of the kids over the long haul -- but it appears that if Wygal goes forward with a lawsuit, her goals will be more about preventing future tragedies, and answering those difficult questions laid out above, than securing a big settlement.
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Here's a CNN profile of Wingo from last week that features Wygal.
More from our News archive: "Aurora theater shooting: Rebecca Wingo's loved ones remember her online."