When someone is shot, what’s the cost to you?
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Luxury Vance didn’t think she played particularly well during a recent game.
But just getting onto the court was a victory within itself.
Luxury, 12, was shot three times while attending a picnic at her aunt’s house in 2015.
“When I was getting out of the hospital, they said I might not be able to play basketball,” she said.
Luxury, captain of the Cypress Lake Middle School girls basketball team, recovered in time to play this season.
But along with the emotional scars, there are some very public – and expensive – costs when someone is shot.
Those costs quickly add up the moment a bullet is fired:
“There’s a meter running for society to pay the fare for the crime that occurred,” said Lt. Dana Coston, Cape Coral police spokesperson.
While not involved in Luxury’s case, Cape Coral police provided an idea of how taxpayers pay when a crime occurs.
The example Coston gave was a robbery call that turned into a homicide in August.
No immediate arrest was made. A large search ensued. Four people were arrested within a few days.
The cost to date: $312,837:
A different homicide, a meat salesman shot to death by a homeowner at a front door four years ago, resulted in a different price tag – $165,909:
And those costs are just for the police work.
“It’s very easy to look at the crime stories that happened somewhere else in the area, that didn’t directly impact you, and say ‘that doesn’t affect me,'” Coston said. “But the truth of the matter is, it absolutely affects you.”
When adding in ambulance transport, trauma doctors, surgeries and other medical expenses, the price tag skyrockets.
Health insurance covered Luxury’s surgeries and recovery, which cost more than $200,000.
“Only so many procedures is covered,” said Luxury’s mother, Tonya Chrisp. “Only so much medication is covered.”
Costs can exceed $10 million for shooting victims that require lifetime care. Most of those costs are absorbed by hospitals when treating uninsured victims.
If there’s an arrest, costs are added for prosecuting and defending the accused – if they require a public defender.
In situations like Club Blu, which closed following a shooting that left two dead and 18 others injured in July, there’s the cost of lost income, taxes and money that will not be earned or spent in the neighborhood.
But not all costs can be measured.
“Now it’s okay, right,” Chrisp said. “We cry together now.”
Getting to the point where Luxury and her mother can talk about the shooting required counseling – another cost.
Some shooting victims suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. Some families endure long term drama.
Luxury has one more cost – not knowing who fired three bullets into her arm.
“Do I want justice,” she said. “Do I want to know? A part of me do…but it’s almost like another family losing their child to the system, or to jail.”