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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Montgomery County Holds News Conference

Aired November 26, 2002 - 12:04   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN ANCHOR: Switching gears, turning domestic, a news conference under way in Montgomery County, Maryland. At issue, the sniper case and the large amount of reward money.
Doug Duncan at the microphone, the CEO, chief executive officer of the county speaking.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

DOUG DUNCAN, MONTGOMERY COUNTY EXECUTIVE: And I have great confidence in his abilities, and I'm sure the people of this region and the people across the country have great confidence in his abilities, as we saw them in evidence during the investigation.

Chief Moose is going to speak shortly and give us a better idea of how complex the job of the task force is going to be in determining who is going to receive the reward money.

But before I turn it over to the chief, I do want to take a moment to reflect on the absolute devastation that these attacks have had on the victims and their families. You know, in some respects, with regard to the reward fund, we've got the luxury of time now. We have suspects in custody, our community is safe again, and we've got the luxury of time to make sure that we get it right, that we make the right decisions on who gets the reward money.

Well, with regard to the victims who survived and to the families of the victims, they don't have that luxury of time. They need help now. And we can and we must honor the memory of the innocent victims by supporting those who are left behind and supporting those who survived these attacks and must carry on.

We announced during the investigation that any money raised over the $500,000 reward fund would go towards the victims and their families, and we have all been touched by the generosity of so many people across this country, individuals who reached out to help the families in need.

And it really struck me just how quickly people responded. The generosity of the American people came out loud and clear during this very difficult time. We had 931 separate individual contributions to the reward fund from 33 states and from three countries, including the United States. People like Dee Bizer (ph), who is with us today, who owns a Tai restaurant in Bethesda and has already raised $3,000 for the education of Jim Martin's son. Organizations like the United Way, the Salvation Army and the Victims Rights Foundation, which have all set up group funds specifically for the shooting victims. These individuals and organizations, along with countless others, exemplify the spirit of generosity that defines this great nation and defines us as a people.

And is Mr. Blixith (ph) here? OK. Well, you know, I've got special things to say about Mr. Blixith (ph) once he arrives. But before he gets here, I want to call up a couple other people to speak.

We are starting an effort today -- we've seen some success so far. We've got a check to present to the United Way Healing Fund to help the victims and their families, but it really is just this presentation -- the check presentation we're going to do in a few minutes is just the start of a concerted effort by the people assembled here to do even more to help those in need. In this season of giving, in the season of Thanksgiving, we're asking that we all find it in our hearts to help the families of those who were impacted most by the shootings.

SAVIDGE: Doug Duncan, he is the CEO of Montgomery County, Maryland, talking about restitution or money going to the victims' families.

We'll get back to this news conference in just a moment.

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