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Justice Dept. pays nearly $17M to victims of Vegas mass shooting

By
Nicholas Sakelaris
Billboards are seen on Las Vegas Boulevard near the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on October 6, 2017, five days after a shooting attack killed 58 people. File Photo by Ronda Churchill/UPI
Billboards are seen on Las Vegas Boulevard near the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on October 6, 2017, five days after a shooting attack killed 58 people. File Photo by Ronda Churchill/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 30 (UPI) -- The Justice Department said Friday it's paid nearly $17 million from a federal fund to victims of last year's Las Vegas shooting attack.

The Oct. 1, 2017, assault killed 58 people and injured more than 600 others at the Route 91 country music festival. Gunman Stephen Paddock opened fire from his suite on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino, which overlooked the event on the south end of Las Vegas Boulevard.

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The department said money from the Anti-terrorism and Emergency Assistance Program will help pay for counseling, therapy, rehabilitation and legal aid. Anyone who was at the scene of the shooting happened is eligible for compensation.

The department has also awarded a grant worth nearly $9 million to provide multi-disciplinary, scenario-based active shooter training to first responders in the United States. About $2 million was given to first responders immediately after the shooting last year.

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"This Department of Justice stands with our first responders and victims of crime," Acting U.S. 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.

"While we cannot under the harm that has been done, this Department of Justice is doing what we can to help Las Vegas heal."

Las Vegas police said Paddock fired an AR-15 assault rifle at the crowd for more than 10 minutes before he shot himself as officers closed in. The Los Angeles Post Examiner reported Thursday that Las Vegas was required to have 20 rifle-certified police officers present at events like the Route 91 concert -- but it's unclear how many carried their rifles the night of the attack or why the weapons were left in police cars.

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