DOJ announces $1.5M for Sandy Hook relief

The Justice Department on Tuesday announced more than $1.5 million in initial reimbursement funding for agencies and organizations that aided victims and first responders following last year’s mass shooting in Newtown, Conn.

The directive from Attorney General Eric Holder comes three days after the anniversary of the killing spree that left 20 children and six adults dead at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

“One year after the senseless violence in Newtown, we continue to mourn the innocent children and selfless adults who were taken from us on that terrible day,” Holder said. “And through this grant. … We reaffirm our commitment to standing with the people of Newtown, the families of the victims and all who are helping to bring help and healing to those affected by this heartbreaking tragedy.”

The $1,519,713 dispersal from the Justice Department’s Office for Victims of Crime will go to the Connecticut Judicial Branch, which administers funding for services to victims of violent crime in the state.

The money is meant to repay organizations that handled crisis intervention, trauma care and other law enforcement support expenses, including the costs associated with moving Sandy Hook students to a new school after the massacre.

The office is working with state officials and the city of Newtown on additional grants to help pay for long-term victim recovery.

Similar funding was announced following the 1995 the Oklahoma City bombing and mass shootings in Aurora, Colo.; Tucson, Ariz.; and at Virginia Tech.