VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — 10 On Your Side is learning more about the four people still recovering from serious wounds after the mass shooting in Virginia Beach. They are included in the 16 who are receiving funds from the United Way of South Hampton Roads Virginia Beach Tragedy Fund.
After the initial payments of at least $50,000 to each of 16 victims (12 families of those killed and four victims injured), the fund will then concentrate on the four victims who survived, but are left with life-altering injuries. They were all shot, and it’s possible three of the four will never work again.
The administrator of the Virginia Beach Tragedy fund, Jeffrey Breit, says following the horrifying events of May 31, the injured victims and their families will have much greater needs than the public will ever know. Those needs will exceed what is given by the Tragedy Fund.
“Some of these victims will have lifelong needs that will not be covered by this fund,” Breit told us, “Sadly the living victims have lifelong injuries, and workers comp won’t be enough to help any of them.”
Breit, who has met with three of the four injured, says one has a severely broken jaw requiring facial reconstruction. “You have severe facial injuries. Those people have not just their facial injuries, but the post traumatic stress related to being in this kind of shooting gallery seeing your friends killed.”
That dreadful day, all four suffered head injuries from gunshot wounds. One jumped out of a second story window landing on a paved sidewalk below.
“We have a quadriplegic. He is paralyzed from the neck down. This is a gentleman who will come back into our community after rehab, but he will never be able to do any of the things that the normal person can do,” Breit added. “I have spouses who left their jobs to take care of their injured spouse. Worker comp doesn’t cover that, so those are real income losses like right now. Immediate. And I’m trying to help them Some of these people have mortgage problems, some people have to leave their jobs to take care of their injured loved ones.”
Here’s the reality of the Tragedy Fund: “There will never be enough money donated to help these 16 families. The more coverage you give it, the more people understand … let’s not forget about this tragedy. Let’s not forget about these victims … I think the public awareness is important. This tragedy wasn’t just a moment in time. These 16 families are going to live with this the rest of their time. It is a mark on our community. We can’t just wash this away.”
If you’d like to give to the Tragedy Fund, please click this link and click Donate to the Virginia Beach Tragedy Fund.
At the time of this story’s publication, $3.9 million has been pledged. Breit says the fund needs to exceed $5 million. Cash on hand is $3 million, and 8 families have already received $25,000. TowneBank donated $500,000.