Oregon District shooting survivors want donations split evenly

Two public sessions held Monday to get opinion from victims, survivors

Survivors in the Oregon District mass shooting said during a public input meeting that the more than $3 million in donations given to a charitable fund should be split evenly among survivors and families of victims.

A volunteer committee will take input from two public meetings Monday to decide how best to distribute the charitable gifts from across the nation given in the wake of the Aug. 4 Oregon District mass shooting that took nine lives.

A draft protocol for distribution of the money has proposed that 75 percent of the total go to “individual applications” for deceased individuals. That amounts to about $2.25 million to the estates or families (the “applicants”) of the nine people killed on Aug. 4 — about $250,000 each.

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Smaller percentages will be set aside for those injured in the shooting event — but only if applicants can document that they saw a physician or were hospitalized within 48 hours of the Aug. 4 event.

It’s unclear how many people ultimately will seek a share of the funds.

Dutch Woods II was crawling on East Fifth Street when he said a bullet grazed his leg and lodged in his elbow in the Aug. 4 shootings. He said he drove himself to a hospital not knowing the bullet was still inside him.

He pronounced the draft protocol “not fair.”

“We all felt the pain, ” Woods said. “We all are still hurting from it.”

He added: “I feel like, if you’re going to divide the money, do the right thing and divide it evenly.”

At a second event Monday night, Mike Turner, the father of Logan Turner who died in the Oregon District, said another fund may be needed to pay victims fairly.

"I would want everyone whose been affected by this to be taken care of. If we have to start another fund, let's start another fund," he said.

Jerri Jackson of Springfield is the mother of Matt McQuinn, who lost his life seven years ago in the Aurora, Colo. theater mass shooting. She said she attended Monday’s morning meeting to show her support for those hurt on Aug. 4.

The families affected will need the money, Jackson believes. She said she has not been able to return to work in the wake of her son’s death. “So we lost that income,” she said.

“There are a lot of things that are going on,” Jackson said. “I’m still in counseling and on sleep medication.”

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Some survivors were outspoken against Megan Betts' family receiving donations. Megan Betts was among the victims killed by her brother, Connor Betts.

“I just think that would be an insult to our community, an insult to people who died and to people who are still hurting,” a woman said at the meeting.

The timeline for disbursement of the gifts has not changed, foundation President Mike Parks said. The final protocol of disbursement will be published at DaytonFoundation.org on Oct. 1. Applications for funds will be available at that website, also.

The foundation has consulted with communities who have suffered their own mass shootings and shared charitable funds in the wake of those tragedies.

“I think the process has been based on best practices,” Parks said Monday. “And it’s a good process.”

Brother Raymond Fitz, the former University of Dayton president who is co-chairing the volunteer committee overseeing the process, said distribution is a “moral problem that will be projected into a formula.”

“I don’t believe you can quantify it,” Fitz said. “I believe you can listen to all the perceptions and options out there.”

Those who wish to apply for funds will have the month of October to do so. Applications will be due by 6 p.m. Oct. 31.

The foundation’s goal is to distribute funds by late November.

The shooting victims were: Derrick Fudge, 57; Lois Oglesby, 27; Saeed Saleh, 38; Logan Turner, 30; Nicholas Cumer, 25; Thomas McNichols, 25; Beatrice Warren-Curtis, 36; Monica Brickhouse, 39; and Megan Betts, 22. Police also killed the shooter in the event.

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