After Mass Shootings, This Little-Known FBI Unit Focuses on Helping Victims

The FBI employs 171 victims specialists who fan out to aid survivors and victims' families in the aftermath of mass casualty events

Frank Bignami was just grazed when a gunman turned a Las Vegas country music festival into a killing field on Oct. 1, 2017. But his wife Autumn had been shot three times, in the back, hand and face. She had not woken up. Their three children were back home near Los Angeles.

Frank expected to be interviewed as a witness. But when the FBI's Cheryl Moores approached him outside the hospital room, she explained that an interview was not on her agenda, NBC News reports

“I'm a part of the FBI that helps people through this,” she said, as Frank recalls it.

Moores, an FBI victim specialist, is part of a little-known division in the FBI whose members deploy in the wake of mass casualty events like the ones last weekend in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. While FBI agents in their familiar blue vests do the painstaking work of criminal investigation, members of the Victims Services Division, as it’s called, fan out to help those immediately affected by the incident — in any and every way they can.

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