Santa Barbara County residents seek victim compensation after Las Vegas shooting
Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley said Friday 20 people have contacted her office for help after being affected by the mass shooting October 1 in Las Vegas.
Dudley is a member of Prosecutors Against Gun Violence, or PGAV, which is asking the federal government to ban gun silencers in wake of the violence. She said the group has grown considerably since it was formed around 2014.
Dudley said she joined the group because of the concerns of the people in Santa Barbara County.
"I've always been concerned about gun violence,” Dudley said. “But I knew the constituents of our county had a heightened concern after the Goleta post office massacre and again after the Isla Vista massacre."
Dudley said she is one of six county district attorneys in California who have joined this group of prosecutors. The others are mainly from Southern California and the Bay area. Dudley said it's important reach out to her office when this kind of violence occurs to receive victim compensation benefits.
A Santa Barbara County DA press release urges people to reach out to the office. "If you or someone you know, including an employee of your organization, was a victim or witness to the Route 91 music festival shooting, please advise them that the District Attorney Victim Advocates area available to help with referrals, support and assistance regarding California Victim Compensation (CalVCB) benefits," it reads.
"These aren't people who are combat ready. These were children and grandparents and parents. People who've never seen violence before. Aside from law enforcement and the military, who of us are prepared?” Dudley said. “[And when you're ill prepared for anything like this] it is extremely traumatizing."
Dudley said the PGAV will work to expand gun control laws to other western States.