Justice Department awards nearly $17m to aid Las Vegas shooting survivors

A woman prays beside 58 white crosses for the victims of Sunday night’s mass shooting, on Las Vegas Strip just south of the Mandalay Bay hotel, October 6, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
On October 1, 2017 Stephen Paddock killed at least 58 people and injured more than 450 after he opened fire on a large crowd at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival. The massacre is one of the deadliest mass shooting events in US history. / AFP PHOTO / Robyn Beck (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

The US Justice Department announced Friday an award of nearly $17 million to help survivors of the 2017 mass shooting at Las Vegas’ Route 91 Harvest music festival.

Funding from the department’s Office for Victims of Crime will help cover the costs of counseling, therapy, rehabilitation, trauma recovery and legal assistance for victims of the deadliest mass shooting in US history. Survivors covered by this award include ticket holders, concert staff, vendors, witnesses, law enforcement and other first responders, according to a DOJ statement.

The $16.7 million award will also support close family members, medical personnel, coroner’s staff, taxi drivers and others who helped concert goers on the October 2017 night in which 58 people were killed and hundreds of others wounded, according to the statement.

“While we cannot undo the harm that has been done, this Department of Justice is doing what we can to help Las Vegas heal,” Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said in the statement.

On October 1, 2017, a reclusive high-stakes gambler named Stephen Paddock opened fire on the popular outdoor music festival from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. The festival was attended by about 22,000.

After the slaughter, Paddock, 64, was found dead on the floor of his hotel room with what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.