Donations to Colorado movie theater shooting victims are growing

(CNN) - Gov. John Hickenlooper announced Tuesday that contributions to GivingFirst.org, which is accepting donations for victims and relatives of Friday's mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado, had reached nearly $2 million.

"The needs will be great and we look forward to seeing the fund grow exponentially," he said in a news release. "This money will help those impacted by this tragedy begin to recover and rebuild their lives."

Hickenlooper said donors include Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures, co-producers of "The Dark Knight Rises," which was playing in the movie theater when the shooting began.

Sources at Warner Bros. studios told CNN that the company made a "substantial" donation to Community First, which is collecting funds for victims of the shooting through GivingFirst.org.

Warner Bros., a subsidiary of CNN's parent company Time Warner, would not divulge how much money it was giving out of what the sources said was respect for the victims.

"Many other individuals, families, corporations and foundations have donated," the governor's news release said. "Most donors have asked to remain anonymous."

GivingFirst.org describes the Community First Foundation as a "longstanding community foundation" which has established the relief fund in partnership with Hickenlooper.

The website adds that contributions to the fund will go toward meeting the needs of the shooting victims and their families, "and, as funds are available, the broad needs of those affected in the community."

At least one victim's friends and family are seeking funds individually. A website for Caleb Medley, who was shot in the head, resulting in the loss of an eye and brain damage, tallied more than $163,000 in donations from nearly 5,000 donors by Tuesday night.

"The surgeon came and talked to us and said he'd be in ICU at least a week," said Medley's friend, Michael West, who set up the website to take care of the ultimate medical bill as well as the needs of the victim's family. "I knew it was going to rack up in the hundreds of thousands, if not millions," he said.

Medley, who had been doing standup comedy routines in Denver and was working full-time at Target, had no health insurance, his brother Seth said.

CNN's Jane Caffrey contributed to this report
 


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