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Virginia Beach Tragedy Fund being split for families of victims

Lawyer Jeffrey Breit has been tasked with recommending to the United Way Board how to split the donations coming in.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — After the deadly municipal center shooting in Virginia Beach, people from all over immediately sought to help those affected, especially the victims and their families.

Many turned to helping with financial donations to the United Way, where 100 percent of the donations went to the families of the 12 killed, or the four victims who were injured. 

"The United Way has received almost $3.9 million in donations," said Jeffrey Breit, a lawyer at Breit Cantor.

Breit, who has about 40 years of experience dealing with wrongful death lawsuits, said he's been tasked with recommending how the money is split between the 16 families.

"I'm meeting with the 16 families, each as much time as they need and trying to determine need. How much money can I use out of this money to help the families?" he said.

Breit said so far, each of the families has gotten $25,000 already, and possibly another $25,000 soon.

"Then there'll probably be three million dollars left and I need to address the needs of each family. Who depended on these paychecks? Who suffered a loss as a result of the family member who passed away or some of these injuries, which are very severe," said Breit.

With 16 families to take care of, Breit said $3 million will go fast. So, he's hoping more donations come in as he continues working with them to get families the help they need in a timely manner.

"I would hope that within 60 days, I would have finished everything I need to do with the families to make the determinations. I would like to think we'd be collecting money for six months," he said.

Breit said he's doing all of this work for free and he'll keep making these recommendations to the United Way board as long as donations keep coming in.

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