SLO County center seeks Las Vegas shooting victims

Nov 6, 2017

According to the FBI, dozens of Central Coast residents were at the country music concert in Las Vegas targeted by a gunman on October 1, 2017. 58 people died and over 500 were injured. Since then, California counties have sought to locate victims to help them pay for psychological and medical therapy, and other costs. 

Beth Raub is the assistant director of the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Victim Witness Assistance Center.

“What we’re trying to do is reach out to victims - the FBI is telling us there are about 85 victims in our area, and we’ve only served about eight,” Raub said.

The center can also help people recover personal items lost in the aftermath of the shooting. Some of the department’s funding comes from fines convicted defendants pay into the judicial system, Raub explained.

“We are part of the prosecution team, and so anytime there is a crime against persons, law enforcement does a report, it comes to the district attorney’s office to be either filed, or not filed,” Raub said. “So if there is a victim on that case, on that crime, it is assign to us.”

Monterey, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties all have a similar victim/witness units.

The center "works to reduce the trauma, frustration and inconvenience experienced by victims, witnesses, and family members affected by crime," according to the San Luis Obispo County's Victim Witness Assistant Center's mission statement. The center aims to provide  "a wide variety of services to victims of crime and their families, in addition to supporting victims and witnesses throughout the criminal justice process."