DOJ to give nearly $10M in anti-terror funds to Parkland shooting victims

The Justice Department’s (DOJ's) Office for Victims of Crime announced Wednesday that it has granted $9.8 million in funding to assist victims of the February 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

The grant will provide funds from the Anti-terrorism and Emergency Assistance Program to the Florida Department of Legal Affairs’ Division of Victim Services and Criminal Justice programs for the victims of the shooting. The funding will also reimburse “key agencies” that provided immediate services.

“More than two years after 17 innocent lives were violently cut short, the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas remains as senseless as it is painful,” Department of Justice Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Katharine T. Sullivan said Wednesday.

“We open our hearts and pledge our continued support to the families of the victims, to the brave first responders who came to the scene that terrible day and to the entire community of Parkland.”

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Fourteen students and three staff members were shot and killed, and 17 others were wounded during one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history.

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The funding is also intended for students, families, staff and first responders who survived the shooting to help with “ongoing trauma-informed, evidence-based healing and resiliency services."

The Office for Victims of Crime director, Jessica E. Hart, said she had met with families of the victims from the shooting when she served as public liaison for the department.

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“The loss of so many young lives in a place dedicated to the pursuit of learning is unspeakable,” Hart said. “My heart remains with them and all the victims whose lives will forever be affected by this reprehensible crime.”

“I hope this funding will help carry on the vital work of serving victims and restoring communities in memory of all those who were taken from us that day,” Hart added.