Watch CBSN Live

Aurora victims fund raises $5M; Families to speak

(CBS/AP) AURORA, Colo. - As family members of some of the 12 people shot to death during a midnight movie showing in Colorado prepare to go public Tuesday about some behind-the-scenes events they say need to be discussed, a coalition collecting contributions for victims has collected more than $5 million.

But the Aurora Victim Relief Fund has distributed just $350,000, according to the Community First Foundation website.

Aurora city spokesperson Kim Stuart said the group expects to identify who will lead the group in the near future and determine how the money will be spent.

Meanwhile, the families have not revealed what they events they intend to address, but said in a statement that they would "speak with one voice" for the benefit of all the victims.

A press conference is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. ET.

Anita Busch, a spokeswoman for the families' group, declined to elaborate on the topics of today's press conference. Busch said she expects the families of most of the 12 people killed in the shootings to be represented.

A joint appearance by multiple families would be a first in the case. Only a handful of family members of the slain victims have spoken publicly, and most of their comments came in the first few days after the shooting.

The suspect in the July 20 shooting, 24-year-old James Eagan Holmes, is charged with murder and attempted murder and two other counts.

Police said Holmes was heavily armed and wearing body armor and a gas mask when he opened fire on the audience in a packed theater in the Denver suburb of Aurora during a showing of the latest Batman movie.

In addition to the 12 killed, 58 were injured.

Holmes is being held without bail and has not entered a plea. Defense lawyers have said he is mentally ill.

James Holmes told a friend he was "bad news"
James Holmes made threat in March, prosecutors claim
Video: Possible motive in the Aurora, Colo. massacre

Holmes was a first-year Ph.D. student in a neuroscience program at the University of Colorado, Denver. He told university officials about six weeks before the shootings that he was withdrawing.

Prosecutors have said Holmes failed an oral board exam June 7, at about the same time he began buying weapons and ammunition.

Prosecutors are seeking the university's records on Holmes and also want to see a notebook that Holmes reportedly sent to university psychiatrist Lynne Fenton. Fenton is expected to testify at a hearing Thursday.

Defense lawyers are fighting prosecution attempts to see the material.

Investigators, attorneys on both sides and the university have said little about the case outside court hearings, citing a gag order imposed by Arapahoe County District Judge William Sylvester.

Many court documents have been kept secret as well.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue