Amish shooting victims recovering

NICKEL MINES, Pa. – Three of the five girls wounded during a massacre in an Amish schoolhouse last month are back in school at least part-time, and more than $3.2 million has been donated to help the survivors, a community group said yesterday.

Two of the girls recovering from lung, abdomen, face and leg wounds still need extensive reconstructive surgery and are attending classes part-time, the Nickel Mines Accountability Committee said. Some of the donated money will pay to make their homes and a new school that will be built handicapped-accessible, the group said.

One of the two girls who suffered severe head wounds remains in the hospital, but shows “remarkable improvement” and should be released by Christmas, the committee said. The other girl is home but semi-comatose and likely will have lifelong disabilities.

The fifth girl is attending classes full-time and is expected to fully recover from injuries to her shoulder, hand and leg, the committee said.

Hospitals and medical providers have not billed the families for their initial services, but some families expect to incur long-term expenses, and overall costs will probably be significant, said the committee, which comprises seven Amish members and two who are not Amish.

Five other girls were killed in the Oct. 2 attack at West Nickel Mines Amish School. The 32-year-old gunman, Charles Carl Roberts IV, committed suicide as police surrounded the one-room school. The schoolhouse was later razed.

The donations will also be used for medical expenses, long-term care, counseling and transportation, the committee said. The group added it has been in contact with Roberts’ widow, Marie, “to make sure adequate support is available” for her and their three children.