Fundraiser to help Las Vegas mass shooting victims held at Villa Park restaurant

Monday, November 13, 2017
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A fundraiser was held in Villa Park Sunday to raise money for the victims of the Las Vegas mass shooting.

VILLA PARK, Calif. (KABC) -- A fundraiser was held in Villa Park Sunday to raise money for the victims of the Las Vegas mass shooting.

Doug Cotter is still healing from a gunshot wound to his stomach. He is one of the hundreds of people who were shot and wounded at the Route 91 Harvest Festival on Oct. 1. Fifty-eight people were killed by the gunman who opened fire on the crowd from the Mandalay Bay resort.

Cotter was with his son at the concert.

"I'm fortunate that I got hit and I survived," he said. "(My son) was a strong kid. They didn't know where I was at for 12 hours. He was looking for me the whole time. They were all looking for me."

Six weeks after the massacre, Cotter and other concergoers who were wounded attended the fundraiser to help the victims. Megan Wheeler, who wasn't hurt at the concert but witnessed the chaos, organized the event at Rockwells.

"Being there and not being able to help - I wanted to do something for the people that made it out. I didn't know what else to do so I wanted to organize something," she said.

Daniel Staples attended the event as his wife Kristina remains hospitalized.

"She got shot on the right side, right in the hairline. The bullet fragmented and went into the left side of her brain. She's missing the front part of her skull because they had to do brain surgery that night," he said.

He said Kristina recognizes friends when they visit and reacts to photos of their young daughter. He said all they can do is pray for her recovery.

"The silver lining through all this crazy tragedy, madness is a lot of good people. We have such an amazing support group," he said.

Fifteen percent of the bar and restaurant sales went toward the victims' fund, and 100 percent of the drink sales made with Tito's vodka also went to it. Wheeler said she's glad to see the community came together.

"It's overwhelming. It's just what I wanted. I was so happy to see such a good turnout and the response that we got was really, really good," Wheeler said.

The survivors who were shot and those who escaped uninjured said supporting one another is an important part of healing and moving on.

For those who missed out on this fundraiser, another one will be held at Rockwells the day before Thanksgiving on Nov. 22.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help her family pay medical expenses, you may donate by clicking here.