Las Vegas shooting survivors ask, ‘What about us?’

Updated November 28, 2017 - 11:56 pm

Suzzanne Michaels has felt unable to function since the Oct. 1 Route 91 Harvest festival shooting.

“I’ve left empty pans and the burners on the stove on, and found the uncooked eggs in the upstairs bathroom sink,” Michaels told the Las Vegas Victims Fund committee Tuesday morning.

In a letter to the committee, she said she’s “even walked to my car before I realized I forgot to put a shirt on. I haven’t been able to concentrate long enough on my own to complete emailed forms that VOCP (victims of crime program) wants me to complete for lost wages.”

Michaels said she lost her job because of her mental distress.

“The owner/manager of Five Star Tavern #55 on Rainbow and Smoke Ranch told me — I needed thicker skin!” she wrote.

Michaels was one of about 150 survivors of the Oct. 1 Route 91 Harvest festival mass shooting who delivered a recurring message Tuesday: “What about us?”

The committee held town hall meetings at 10:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Tuesday to solicit public opinions on draft protocols outlining who should receive donations following the massacre.

The draft protocols, released Nov. 16, propose that families of people killed in the shooting and people who sustained permanent brain damage or paralysis resulting in continuous home medical aid would receive the highest level of payment from the fund.

People who were injured and admitted to a hospital within 48 hours of the shooting for at least one night between Oct. 1 and Jan. 31, 2018, would receive the next level of funding, according to the draft.

Excluded

But those criteria leave out too many people, morning session attendee Karen Iantuono said.

Iantuono’s daughter’s knee was dislocated amid the shooting’s chaos. She had surgery, but she was never hospitalized overnight and therefore would be ineligible for aid.

“You can’t tell me that she’s less of a person because she didn’t spend a night in a hospital,” Iantuono said.

Iantuono’s friends and family contributed donations to the fund, and now it seems as if her daughter won’t get anything from it, she said.

Michelle Leonard said she, too, feels excluded from the proposed protocol.

“I have blood clots in my leg,” said Leonard, who is moving around in a wheelchair. “I was not admitted to a hospital because I fell over a concrete barrier and was trampled on.”

She said she is waiting to see an orthopedic surgeon to determine whether her leg is permanently damaged.

“I don’t want to take away from those that have lost their lives, and those that have permanent damage. I just feel like we need to not be forgotten,” she said. “I may not have had a bullet put in my body, but I feel like a bullet has been put in my head, and my soul and my heart — and my life is forever changed.”

A group of 44 out-of-town survivors also provided written comments to the committee Tuesday night. Jennifer Holub of Salt Lake City compiled the statements and organized for Las Vegas survivors to deliver them.

“I will not sit back and let my Route 91 family be revictimized,” Holub told the Review-Journal.

Yvonne Justice spoke on Anthony Dalrymple’s behalf, saying he escaped with his life but was affected emotionally and financially.

“Anthony worked at night to help support his family,” Justine said, “but hasn’t worked since the event because his wife (who also attended the festival) is terrified of the dark and to be home alone at night with their 12-year-old son.”

Next steps

After the morning meeting, Las Vegas Victims Fund Committee Chairman Scott Nielson said he couldn’t say what the committee will do. But he added that he would examine how to include injured people who received outpatient care.

The committee will accept feedback on the draft protocol until Dec. 8, and will adopt a final protocol Dec. 11, Nielson said.

When the final protocol is adopted, a “claim form” will become available for applicants to complete.

Jeff Dion, deputy director of the National Center for Victims of Crime, said all claims will need to be submitted electronically.

Each decedent or victim for whom a claim is submitted will be validated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as a victim of the Oct. 1 attack, he said.

“If the FBI doesn’t have you on their victim list, they’re going to send an FBI agent to talk to you,” he said.

Additionally, no money will be disbursed to anybody listed on the U.S. Department of Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control, Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons list.

Dion said the fund is intended for anybody affected by the shooting, including first responders and people working at the event.

Dion said families of the deceased should identify a family representative for their loved one’s estate, if they haven’t already done so. A family representative must be authorized to apply for compensation.

“If everybody agrees on what the distribution within that family is, then we’ll honor that. If people can’t agree on how that should be distributed, then we’re going to go ahead and send it to the probate court.”

Las Vegas-based probate lawyer Jonathan Reed, with the Reed & Mansfield law firm, previously told the Review-Journal that the first step in representing an estate is to ask the probate court to name you as executor or personal representative or administrator — whichever term the decedent’s state uses.

You’ll likely need to file an application, a death certificate and the original will (if there is one) with the local probate court in the county where the deceased person was living at the time of death.

If the deceased person owned real estate in more than one county in the same state, one probate will suffice.

If the personal representative is not living in the state where the probate is taking place, the out-of-state resident may need to appoint a resident of the probate state to serve with them as a co-administrator.

Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada and the State Bar of Nevada said they will provide pro bono legal services to victims of the Oct. 1 shooting.

Contact Nicole Raz at nraz@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4512. Follow @JournalistNikki on Twitter.

A previous version of this story misspelled the name of Yvonne Justice, one of the speakers at the town hall.

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With holidays around the corner, department stores hiring extra staff
J.C. Penny hired 72 seasonal workers this year at the Galleria at Sunset mall in Henderson in order to handle the heavy traffic of the holiday shopping season. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Startup Weekend fosters new businesses
With the help of entrepreneurial peers and an expert panel of mentors, Techstars Startup Weekend fosters the ideas of attendees into marketable business plans. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Mecum Car Auction in Las Vegas
The Mecum Auctions is held at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/ Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Construction underway for new Google Data Center
Henderson is slated to be home to a new Google data center in December 2020. The Governor’s Office of Economic Development approved $25.2 million in tax abatements for Design LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Google. The company plans to build the data center on 64 acres of land on Warm Springs Road west of Boulder Highway.
Crime
Former FBI agent recalls tragic case 20 years later
Timothy Blackburn robbed a Bank of America depository in December 1998 for more than $1 million — the largest bank robbery in Nevada’s history. After eluding authorities initially, Blackburn was caught and jailed at the North Las Vegas Detention Center. In August 1999, he escaped, guns blazing, with his wife’s help, and disappeared for weeks only to be found at an apartment near Boulder Highway. Former FBI Agent Henry Schlumpf, the lead on the case, remembers vividly the hostage situation that would end tragically. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Officer Shoots Suspect in Nye County - Bodycam
A Nye County Sheriff’s deputy shot and killed a man Thursday night. Jason Paul O’Bannon, 46, died after the altercation with police. Reports of a man firing a weapon outside his house brought police to the scene just after 8 p.m. Detective Wesley Fancher fired the shot that killed O’Bannon, police said. O’Bannon had a “lengthy criminal history” in California and Nevada dating to 1988, according to police
Nye County sheriff news conference on officer-involved shooting
Nye County Sheriff Sharon Wehrly details the police response as officers came under fire Thursday when a man was shooting a rifle in his yard. When the man pointed a weapon at an officer, police opened fire. The man died.
Officer-involved shooting in Nye County
The Nye County Sheriff's Office gives information about a shooting in Pahrump on Thursday night after a man began firing shots outside of his home. (Nye County Sheriff's Office)
Law Enforcement Active Shooter Training Exercise
Multiple Las Vegas Valley law enforcement agencies held an active shooter drill at the Department of Public Safety’s Parole and Probation office on December 6, 2018. Officials set up the training exercise to include multiple active shooters, a barricaded suspect and multiple casualties. (Katelyn Newberg/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dozier execution timeline
Scott Dozier was set to be executed July 11, 2018, at the Ely State Prison. Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez delayed the execution.
Las Vegas Metropolitan Briefing 18th street gang
Las Vegas Metropolitan briefs the media on the recent arrests made regarding the 18th street gang.
Las Vegas Metropolitan Briefing - 18th street gang
Las Vegas Metropolitan briefs the media on the recent arrests made regarding the 18th street gang.
The Mob Museum
Man shot in Las Vegas traffic stop had knife, police say
Police said the man fatally shot by an officer during a traffic stop in downtown Las Vegas had a “homemade knife.” Demontry Floytra Boyd, 43, died Saturday at University Medical Center from multiple gunshot wounds after officer Paul Bruning, 48, shot him during a traffic stop. Bruning pulled Boyd over on suspicion of driving recklessly at 7:41 a.m. near Sunrise Avenue and 18th Street.
Man shot, killed by Las Vegas police after traffic stop
Las Vegas police give a briefing after a man was shot and killed by an officer following a traffic stop. (Rio Lacanlale/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Video of suspect in Home Depot parking lot shooting
A man who was injured in a Nov. 20 shooting in the southwest Las Vegas Valley died at a hospital Tuesday, the Clark County coroner’s office said.
Nevada Task Force 1 Dog Units Return
Four dogs and their handlers returned to the Las Vegas Valley on Thursday, November 29, 2018, after deploying to the Paradise, California wildfire last week. The dogs, trained in human remains detection, are part of Nevada Task Force 1, a Federal Emergency Management Agency urban search and rescue team. (Katelyn Newberg/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Police thwart brazen kidnapping attempt
Metro officers suspicious of woman claiming to be with Child Protective Services prevent possible kidnapping of three-week-old infant.
Shot Spotter technology used by Metro extended for another year
Gunfire location technology being used by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department gets extended for another year of evaluation.
Nye County pursuit ends in rollover crash caught by dashcam
A truck flipped twice before landing on its wheels as a driver tried to flee Nye County Sheriff's deputies on Friday, Nov. 23, 2018.
Nevada Highway Patrol stops wrong-way driver on Thanksgiving
The Nevada Highway Patrol has released dashboard and body camera video showing troopers deploying spike strips to stop a suspected impaired wrong-way driver early Thanksgiving Day. (Nevada Highway Patrol)
DUI sentencing
The parents of 8-year-old Levi Echenique speak after a woman who drove under the influence of marijuana and killed the boy was sent to prison.
3 Pahrump residents arrested on false imprisonment charges
James Thatcher, 28 of Pahrump, Chelsea Demille, 30 of Pahrump, and Sandra Wombles, 19 of Pahrump were all arrested after it was discovered that they were holding an adult female and male prisoners in their bedroom. (Nye County Sheriff's Office)
2 kids struck by gunfire in North Las Vegas shooting
On Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018, people opened fire into a residence in the 3600 block of Hamlin Place in North Las Vegas. Two kids were hit by gunfire and sent to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries, according to North Las Vegas police. Anyone with information is asked to call the NLVPD at 702-633-9111.
Man killed during road-rage incident
Las Vegas police are looking for two men involved in the shooting death of a man outside a 7-Eleven story at Bonanza Road and Maryland Parkway on Nov. 12, 2018. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
16-year-old shot in North Las Vegas
A 16-year-old was hospitalized but was expected to survive after a shooting in North Las Vegas, near Centennial Parkway and Fifth Street, on Tuesday, November 13, 2018. North Las Vegas police spokesman Aaron Patty gives an update. (Katelyn Newberg/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
3-year-old boy shot in North Las Vegas
North Las Vegas Police Officer Aaron Patty talks about an accidental shooting that left a 3-year-old boy “fighting for his life” on Nov. 10, 2018.
Senior Citizen Carjacking Attack -- 3 Suspects Sought
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police detectives are seeking the public's assistance in identifying the three attackers who carjacked and beat a 78-year-old man near Fremont and east Charleston on Tuesday. (LVMPD)
Henderson Police Department Chief Latesha Watson Talks Change
11-year-old girl shot, killed in North Las Vegas
An 11-year-old girl is dead after she was struck by gunfire Thursday night during a shooting in North Las Vegas
North Las Vegas police on deadly shooting
North Las Vegas police spokesman Eric Leavitt briefs the media about a shooting that left an 11-year-old girl dead on Nov. 1, 2018. (Katelyn Newberg/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Stephan Bonnar DUI Arrest
Stephan Bonnar arrested for DUI in Nevada.
Family members of murder victims talk about their loss
Family members of murder victims talk about their loss. Susan Nash, 52, was killed in a shooting along with her daughter and one of her three sons on Sunday night. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Sayegh Cold Case Turns 40
Cary Sayegh was abducted from the playground of the Albert Einstein Hebrew Day School in Las Vegas in 1978. His body has never been found. (File Photo)
Review held in death of man after encounter with Las Vegas police
The mother of Tashii Brown, who died after an encounter with Las Vegas police on the Strip, not satisfied after public review of evidence. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
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