NICKEL MINES, Pa. – Three of the five girls who survived being shot inside an Amish schoolhouse last month are back in school, two of them part time, and more than $3.2 million has been donated to help the survivors, a community group said Monday.
Some of the money will be used for medical costs, long-term care, counseling, transportation, making homes and schools handicapped-accessible and construction of a new school, said the Nickel Mines Accountability Committee, which is coordinating receipt and distribution of donations.
Five girls were killed in the Oct. 2 attack at West Nickel Mines Amish School. The 32-year-old gunman, Charles Carl Roberts IV, committed suicide as police surrounded the one-room Amish schoolhouse.
Four of the five survivors have now returned home and the fifth girl is expected to be released by Christmas after showing "remarkable improvement," the committee said.
Construction on a building to replace the schoolhouse will take place in the coming months, the group said. Donors have already promised more money and materials for the new school than will be needed.
Hospitals and medical providers have not billed the families for their initial services, but some families expect to incur long-term expenses and overall costs are expected to be significant, the committee said in a news release.
The committee also said it has been in contact with Roberts' widow, Marie, "to make sure adequate support is available" for her and their three children.
If donations are large enough, the committee may contribute to the charity funds of health-service providers or to entities that responded to the shootings.