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Virginia Tech Massacre Victims To Be Compensated

It is now one year on from the horrific Virginia Tech Massacre and it has come to light that families of those who were murdered in the shootings will be compensated by the state. A mentally unstable student at the school named Seung-Hui Cho, shot 32 victims dead and seriously hurt many more at the school on the 16th of April in 2007 before killing himself. Without filing compensation claims those affected by the massacre are to be awarded $100,000 dollars.
The settlement is thought to be proposed in order to prevent law suits and compensation claims from being launched. The new proposals include time for families to question the governor and university officials about the events. The compensation is intended to pay for counselling and medical expenses which were incurred due to the shooting which took place last year and saw 32 people killed.
The victims and their families have been told that they have a short period during which to decide if they are happy with the proposal, which if accepted will mean that they cannot sue the state government or the school. Some victims have considered making compensation claims according to online reports: "At least 20 families have filed notice with the state that they may sue. They have until April 16, 2008 to make such filings."
The lawyer for one family said that his clients were saddened that the school had not warned students sooner that an armed killer was on the loose. Seung-Hui Cho killed his first two victims just after seven in the morning, however university officials did not send out an email to alert students until a whole two hours later. This email was received only moments before the killer shot another 30 students in a classroom across the campus.
Mirror.co.uk recently published an article on how the shootings affected the students at the school. The paper included first-hand accounts from victims. Kristina Heeger who was shot three times while Seung-Hui Cho attacked everyone in her classroom told the British tabloid: "The first bullet hit me in the back and the searing pain started, it was so strong I didn't even feel that I got shot two more times - once in my buttock and once in my foot."
Another victim of the shooting, Clay Violand was the only person in room 211 to escape unhurt. He said in the Mirror article: "I remember closing my eyes, going under the desk and then hearing it start. I didn't know what a gunshot sounded like other than in the movies, but it's just a little pop really. It sounded almost like a toy. It was horrible."
Violand went on: "No one was screaming, they were all trying to stay quiet, but he just kept methodically shooting people. I did open my eyes a couple of times and I remember seeing him. There's no way he didn't see me - this big blob of clothing just under a desk. I was frozen, accepting that I was probably going to die."
An online report has also said that: "In October, the families and surviving victims received payments ranging from $11,500 to $208,000 from the Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund, set up in the days after the April 16 shootings to handle donations that poured into the Blacksburg school." It is proposed that this new settlement would mean that this fund could be kept open in order to accept public contributions for at least five more years. Previously it was scheduled to close in September.
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