Aurora Theater Shooting

Aurora Victim Relief Fund: 38 victims will split $5.3 million in donated money

Thirty-eight claimants will soon receive a portion of the $5.3 million raised through the Aurora Victim Relief Fund, according to an announcement by Governor John Hickenlooper's office. As per a protocol developed by fund "special master" Ken Feinberg, those who lost family members in the Aurora theater shooting and those who were permanently injured will receive the most -- $220,000 each -- while those who suffered less serious injuries will get less.

Hickenlooper's office provided the following breakdown:

The fund closed on Thursday, Nov. 15, with a final balance of $5,338,360.32. The Governor's Office processed claims for 57 individuals -- 38 claims were approved by Feinberg and 19 claims were denied because they did not qualify under previously announced protocols. The final payments are:

12 claimants related to people killed in the Aurora movie theater, as well as 5 claimants who suffered permanent brain damage or permanent physical paralysis, will each receive $220,000.

6 claimants who were hospitalized for 20 days or more will each receive $160,000.

2 claimants who were hospitalized for between 8 and 19 days will each receive $91,680.

13 claimants who were hospitalized for between 1 and 7 days will each receive $35,000.

Due to the limited amount of money in the fund, victims who did not require overnight hospitalization and claims for mental trauma cannot be compensated. Free counseling for all victims is still available.

Victims "will receive money in the coming days," according to the statement.

Twelve people were killed in the theater shooting and at least 58 were injured.

Feinberg will release a final report about the Aurora Victim Relief fund in December, the governor's office added. It will include an independent audit of the fund. Some victims' families expressed frustration with the way the donated money was handled.

More from our Aurora Theater Shooting archive: "James Holmes hearing postponed after alleged killer's repeated head banging, report says."

Follow me on Twitter @MelanieAsmar or e-mail me at

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Melanie Asmar is a staff writer for Westword. She joined the paper in 2009 and has won awards for her stories about education, immigration and epic legal battles. Got a tip? She'd love to hear it.
Contact: Melanie Asmar