ALBERTVILLE, Ala. — It’s been nearly four months since a gunman shot several of his coworkers at the Meuller Company plant in Albertville, seriously injuring two, killing two others, and then taking his own life.
“It was such a tragedy, and you never thought it would really happen in a small, close-knit town like Albertville,” said Julia Smeds Roth. “It still gives me chills thinking about it. It’s just awful.”
Authorities tell News 19 they still have no leads in the case. Why thirty-four-year-old Andreas Horton started shooting remains a mystery.
It’s clear the shooting took a physical toll on some, and an emotional toll on others. But the national compassion fund is collecting money to offset that pain and suffering.
So far, more than $260,000 has been raised.
“Mueller started the fund with $100,000 and the rest came in through donations through GoFundMe and through checks,” said National Compassion Fund Executive Director Jeff Dion. “You know we get checks from churches and individuals that care about this and want to help people.”
The National Compassion Fund requires a committee to oversee the allocation of funds.
Roth was selected to be on the committee and says people in Albertville will have an opportunity to share their thoughts about the requirements to receive the money.
“We’re going to have a town meeting on October 19, where anyone from the community can comment on the protocols that are up there on the website.”
The criteria for receiving assistance from the compassion fund is specific.
“Surviving family members of the people who were killed, certainly,” said Dion. “Anyone who was injured in the shooting, and also anybody who was present and suffered psychological trauma as a result.”
The money is not need-based, Dion said those eligible are encouraged to apply for the funds.
“At the end of that process, we’ll go back to the steering committee and say, ‘this is how many people we have in each category. This is how much money has been raised. And here’s a proposed distribution plan to distribute that money.’”
The draft protocol listed on the National Compassion Fund’s website also says no person or family member of such person, responsible for the Mueller shooting is eligible to receive a gift from the fund.
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