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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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16.

Gigi    

I really hope they didn't turn it down because they are planning on suing. To try to profit from your loved one's death doesn't seem right to me. There is only one person responsible for this tragedy and that is the gunman. To sue the theatre, which had no reason to suspect that anything like this could happen, would just make this whole situation even dirtier than it already is and it suggests that every place we go should have a full plan in place in case a mad shooter comes in. That just isn't feasible or realistic.

755 days ago
17.

Karla    

Think it was a nice gesture on the part of the theater. They could have not stepped up as it seems they would be under no obligation to/in many ways they too are a victim of sorts although not on the level obviously of those who lost their life or were injured.

Maybe it truly was not needed. I know if something happened to me tomorrow my daughter would not have to worry about expenses it is taken care of and has been for sometime. Many parents do so when the kids are born in order to never be a drain on their kids should something happen. Sounds morbid I know but these are all things in life that one must be aware of and like anything else be ready for as horrific as the thought is.

755 days ago
18.

Symian    

Wow. Just wow! That's more than commendable. They did nothing wrong at all, but they stepped up where other big companies would have balked. Kudos to them!

755 days ago
19.

Jannie    

On one hand, this tragedy could have been prevented if an alarm had gone off the very second the killer opened that emergency door to go out to the parking lot to get ready to commit the masacre. Security from the theater should've locked the door right back up and followed the suspect. BUT, on the other hand, the man was intent on killing. He had planned every little detail. One way or the other, he would have carried out his plan, either at this theater or someplace else. So, the theater might be partly responsible,and I think they should be sanctioned for what they DIDN'T DO, but in the end they are not the ones who shot all those innocent people.

755 days ago
20.

jose de leon    

FB: JAYSTOCKZ@GMAIL.COM FB: JAYSTOCKZ@GMAIL.COM FB: JAYSTOCKZ@GMAIL.COM FB: JAYSTOCKZ@GMAIL.COM FB: JAYSTOCKZ@GMAIL.COM FB: JAYSTOCKZ@GMAIL.COM

755 days ago
21.

Bill Andrews    

In the background I hear the grass and tree's grow, the flow of constant atoms mirror life yet to come_ Wm Andrews ( In memory of all who was captured in this bad time. )

755 days ago
22.

Tyler    

" Cinemark hasn't returned our call for comment yet.."

Yeah, no wonder. They clearly have more important things to do than talk to TMZ. Stop being a thorn in their side by ringing their phone off the hook, and let them do what they can to help those suffering right now.

755 days ago
23.

Nicoleasm    

I wondered if she turned down the offer from the theatre b/c she's looking to sue later

755 days ago
24.

customcalendars4u2    

The tragic event that occured on 7/20 was unforeseen, but still NO one should attend your movie theater and end up dead so it's the least the owner can do, no matter how much they reach out the Law suits are soon to follow!

755 days ago
25.

parlayer    

In my opinion they share no responsibility and this is a "good will" effort that should be admired.

755 days ago
26.

jules    

Thoughts and Prayers!

755 days ago
27.

lalli    

why is tmz using the murdering coward's name and not respecting the victims' families in not calling him anhything but coward? duh...

755 days ago
28.

Linda Moore    

What a kind and wonderful thing for them to do. They didn't have to do that, but they did. Bravo!!

755 days ago
29.

Fat Mike    

I bet their lawyers will be rapt with that decision.

755 days ago
30.

Linda Moore    

What a wonderful and kndl thing for them to do. They didn't have to do that and they did.....bravo to them!!

755 days ago
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