The Justice Department has announced that the Office of Justice Programs’ (OJP) Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) awarded more than $16.7 million in Antiterrorism and Emergency Assistance Program (AEAP) funding to aid survivors of the Oct. 1, 2017, mass shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada. Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker made the announcement in a speech to state, local, and federal law enforcement in Cincinnati this morning.
Fifty-eight people were killed and more than 600 physically injured when a man opened fire on the Route 91 Harvest Festival, an open-air music venue, from a hotel room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel and casino on the Las Vegas strip. When officers located the gunman and entered the room, he was found dead with self-inflicted wounds. In June, the Department awarded over $2 million to support first responders in the aftermath of the shooting. In addition, earlier this month the Department announced a new $8.7 million grant to provide multi-disciplinary, scenario-based active shooter training to first responders across the country.
“This Department of Justice stands with our first responders and victims of crime,” Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said. “We have already provided $3 million to cover expenses for state and local law enforcement in Las Vegas and in Clark County following last October’s horrific mass shooting. Today we take the next step of providing more than $16 million for the victims of that tragedy and for the first responders who came to the scene, to help pay for counseling, therapy, rehabilitation, trauma recovery, and legal aid. While we cannot undo the harm that has been done, this Department of Justice is doing what we can to help Las Vegas heal.”
The funding, totaling $16,735,720, will assist victims of this incident, including ticket holders, concert staff, vendors, witnesses, law enforcement personnel, and other first responders. It also will support close family members, medical personnel, coroner’s staff, taxi drivers, and others who helped the concert attendees. The grant will defray the costs of counseling and therapy, vocational rehabilitation, and trauma recovery for victims and emergency responders. Funds will also help with legal aid and supplement the massive outlays incurred by the Nevada victim compensation program.
AEAP is a non-competitive solicitation specifically created to provide supplemental emergency and longer-term victim support to jurisdictions where a criminal mass violence or domestic terrorism incident occurred. OVC can award funding once local and state authorities have determined the costs associated with responding and have submitted a request for assistance.