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Donations Going to Sniper Victims

County officials and a rights group are giving funds to survivors and kin of those killed.

November 26, 2002|From Newsday

ROCKVILLE, Md. — The donations have slowed but the victims of the snipers who terrorized the Washington area have not been forgotten.

Montgomery County officials will donate about $116,000 today to the United Way to be divided among the families of the 13 Washington-area shooting victims, said Tamara Schomer, crisis manager for the metropolitan area branch of the organization.

And Monday, the Washington, D.C.-based Victims' Rights Foundation announced that it had given $18,000 to each of those wounded and to the families of those killed.

"Speaking on behalf of the families, we want to give our sincere thanks for people's prayers and donations," Greg Wims, president of the group, said at a news conference Monday in Montgomery County, where six of the attacks occurred.

The volunteer organization has raised $260,000 since the shootings started in the Washington area. "This money, while it will not replace the victims, will at least allow the families time to mourn and grieve without wondering where their mortgage payments, their car payments, will come from," said Ellen Alexander, victims' rights director for Montgomery County.

Ten people were killed and three others were wounded in a sniper spree that began in suburban Maryland on Oct. 2 and paralyzed the region as the killings spread into the district and suburban Virginia. Three weeks after the attacks began, police arrested John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo in connection with the shootings. The two, who are being held in Virginia, have been linked to 21 shootings, 14 fatal, across the country.

The foundation's payments were the first money that victims' families have received from about $600,000 donated to several funds that were set up in response to the sniper shootings.

Individual trusts honoring some of the victims also have been collecting money, and the United Way and the Salvation Army have established funds.

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