Aurora, CO Theater Shooting Victims Receive Charity Payout

1:36 PM, Nov 23, 2012   |    comments
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(CBS News) In the wake of the shooting at a premiere weekend screening of "The Dark Knight Rises" in Aurora, Colo., this past summer, there was horror, and then there was caring. A stunned, saddened Denver donated more than $5 million to help the families of the dead, and survivors with hospital bills.

READ: $5 Million To Be Split Among Theater Shooting Victims

Jarrell Brooks took a bullet through the thigh when he jumped to shield a frantic mother and her two children. Part of that bullet is still lodged in his leg. "Sometimes I feel it. Like anything else, there's a lot of tension as my leg gets better as time goes on," Brooks said."

But help for survivors stalled. A local charity was slow to give the money out. Angry families went public, including Brooks' stepmother. "My heart bleeds every time I have to pack my son's wound, and I am inflicting pain upon him," said Deirdre Brooks.

Colorado's governor reached out to Kenneth Feinberg, a man all-too-familiar with tragedy -- and with giving out the money that sometimes follows. He oversaw the distribution of donated money after 9-11, the BP oil spill, and the Virginia Tech shooting.

His formula in Colorado is based on the money available. Families of those killed, paralyzed, or with life-changing brain injuries have each gotten $175,000, which used up three-quarters of the donations. Those hospitalized each got the rest, depending on the length of their hospital stay. And one key element: he did it quickly.

Some, like one victim who was shot in the leg but didn't spend the night in the hospital, didn't receive any money.

"You claimants need the money," Feinberg said of his approach. "All the talk in the world is no substitute for getting the money to you, so you can have it without restriction, do whatever you want with the money."

Moving the process quickly is a relief to survivors like Brooks who can now focus on what's next. Brooks is attending college online at home because of his wound.

"I feel like it was long overdue," he told CBS News. "It's definitely going to help me. Definitely."

At least one chapter for families devastated by the shooting is now over.

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