Aurora theater shooting: Is local media ignoring victims and their families?

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Eirz Scott, left.
Members of eleven families with a loved one who died in the Aurora theater shooting gathered yesterday to criticize Governor John Hickenlooper and a nonprofit in charge of donations, claiming they've been left out of the process.

Some of them also had complaints about another group: the local media.

The lengthy press conference marked the first time nearly all families of the twelve murder victims gathered in one place for a public appearance. Twenty people shared their thoughts and their grief with dozens of reporters at the Summit Convention and Conference Center in Aurora.

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Sam Levin
Eirz Scott, mother of Jarell Brooks, who was shot in the Aurora theater.
At one point during the Q&A session -- which included a wide range of topics beyond complaints about donations -- a reporter asked the families if they were upset that the media seems to have focused on shooter James Holmes and not the victims.

"With all the shootings...that have happened in this country...we still are only hearing about the shooter," the reporter said in her question, prompting some "Amens" and "thank yous" from the family members.

"Honestly, that's the next quest," said Tom Teves, father of victim Alex Teves, who was leading the press conference.

"I wanted to ask you how you felt about that -- we haven't been hearing about the victims' families at all, maybe because you've been told not to talk? But can you maybe talk about how that must feel?" the reporter asked.

"I can speak on behalf of my family," responded Eirz Scott, the mother of Jarell Brooks, nineteen, who was shot in the leg; she'd earlier spoken about the financial and emotional struggles associated with his recovery. "My son Jarell has been on national news. It has been national news who has paid any attention to him whatsoever. I can tell you there probably was one local news network -- well, maybe two -- and it was just...there's not a lot of local attention that has come to us, and I think that's probably why people haven't heard a lot."

She continued, "Because the local news has not really contacted the families. I have no idea how ABC national news found our information. It's been over a month and it's just kind of been an afterthought."

The same reporter pushed again, asking for response to her assertion that the "victims' names have been forgotten" but we continue to hear the name of the shooter.

"I think that's a different conversation. I would be thrilled to have that conversation with you," interjected Scott. "I'd like us to stay on task... You can quote me. You'll get lots of information from me, but that's not today's conversation."

Here's the video of Jarell Brooks on ABC, explaining how he helped a mother in the theater to safety:

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Continue to read more about local media and Aurora theater shooting families.

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