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'Batman' Movie Massacre

Theater Steps Up for

Victims' Funeral Expenses

7/28/2012 1:00 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0727_aurora_colorado_shootings_funeral_paid_article_2
The theater where James Holmes opened fire last week, killing 12 people, is offering to pick up funeral expenses for the victims' families ... TMZ has learned.

Several funerals were held Friday in Aurora, Colorado -- one of them for Rebecca Wingo ... a 32-year-old mother of 2.

Sources close to Rebecca's mother tell TMZ, Cinemark -- corporate owners of the Century 16 Theater -- called the chapel where Rebecca's service was held ... and offered to foot the bill for her funeral.

In fact, the owner of the chapel says Cinemark told him it was willing to provide financial backing to all victims' families -- by paying any funeral expenses not covered by the Crime Victims' Compensation Fund.

Rebecca's mother, Shirley Wygal, turned down the offer and through a spokesperson told TMZ, the reason was that the Victims Advocate Fund paid for everyone's main funeral expenses.

The spokesperson told us, "Ms. Wygal is extremely grateful for all those who continue to donate to their family through a memorial fund and Rebecca's two little girls left behind college fund via the families website at AuroraHeroes.com which is not only made for Rebecca, but for all the victims of the tragedy ... Any and all additional funds will be transferred to the two little girls of Rebecca's college fund."

It's unclear how many funeral homes and chapels in Aurora got the same call. Cinemark hasn't returned our call for comment yet.

134 COMMENTS

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1.

Random    

RIP

820 days ago
2.

Random    

You will be remembered. RIP.

820 days ago
3.

LDB    

I would've took the deal

820 days ago
4.

Arcadia Rink    

That is a beautiful gesture. RIP Sweet Angels.

820 days ago
5.

Truth    

THE MOM REFUSED IT??? SOUNDS LIKE A SET-UP FOR A CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT BY THE VICTIMS FAMILIES, JUST SAYING... OR AN ADMISSION OF SOME GUILT BY THE THEATRE. #TRUTH!!

820 days ago
6.

cherries    

The theatre is dumb dumb dumb to admit liability for this incident

820 days ago
7.

cured    

With all the pain in this world this wicked video made me forget for a few minutes Don't know who this Phil Jones is but what a beautiful video from hi http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-MfMAaNyLY

820 days ago
8.

MS    

They should let Cinemark do this...it's right.

820 days ago
9.

MS    

They should let Cinemark do this...it's right and fair.

820 days ago
10.

GLaDOS    

Let me guess.. the woman's mother that turned down the offer is planning to sue the theater.

820 days ago
11.

Stiletto    

I'll be cynical for a moment. This is a two way problem. 1) If you take the funeral expense deal, they might claim later on that it was the extent of your compensation...in case you are considering suing them Like you are signing a waiver against them oweing you any more money. 2) On the other side of the coin, them offering to pay anything may be viewed in later civil proceedings as an admission of guilt/wrongdoing/responsibility.

I'm going to assume these reasons are why the one family turned down the offer.

820 days ago
12.

mary    

i belive the theater feels awful, but it is not their fault that the man picked their theater, to kill innocent people. it could have happened any place.

820 days ago
13.

diamondsaredumb    

Classy move on the part of the theatre. Wish more corporate entities showed this type of respect for their patrons.

820 days ago
14.

TMP    

The theater has no obligation to do this so it's a great gesture on their part. The fact hat the mother turned it down probably means she's planning on suing them. It's a shame because it's not the theaters fault that this asshat did this but everyone that they can find to blame will be blamed and sued. It's a tragedy, an awful event that no one could have anticipated... It's not the fault of the theater, the doctors, the movie or the studio... it's the fault of the disturbed prick who shot people. He is the one that's to blame.

820 days ago
15.

Mason H    

This is cool of the theater, however I suspect it's probably the doing of the theaters lawyers acting in a proactive manner in the hopes of getting victims families to sign a "no sue" clause somewhere down the line when delivery of funds occurs. The theater should not be held responsible for the shooting. The last thing we need is strip searches and metal detectors at the theater. If someone is mauled by a dog, we don't suddenly outlaw all pets. This whole fake idea of "if you let us search you, you'll be safer" mentality is ridiculous. If someone really wants to kill you, they'll just do it before or after you've left the search zone.

820 days ago
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