At least 59 people have died in a mass shooting in Las Vegas at a country music festival Sunday night, and details are slowly emerging about the victims.
Two other off-duty officers were among the more than 527 transported to hospitals, police said. One is in stable condition after surgery, and the other’s injuries weren’t life-threatening.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that friends identified LVMPD officer, military veteran, and youth football coach Charleston Hartfield, 34, as one of the dead. “They say it’s always the good ones we lose early. There’s no truer statement than that with Charles,” friend Troy Rhett told the paper.
The family of registered nurse Sonny Melton from Paris, Tennessee told WZTV that he was one of the people who died.
“I’m in complete disbelief and despair. I don’t know what to say. Sonny was the most kind-hearted, loving man I have ever met. He saved my life and lost his,” his wife Heather Gulish Melton said in a statement to Fox 17 News in Nashville.
— FoxNashville (@FOXNashville) October 2, 2017
Quinton Robbins, 24, from Henderson, Nevada was one of the murdered, his aunt Kilee Wells Sanders said on Facebook. “Please pray for his parents and siblings at this time,” she wrote. “Please also respect their privacy as this is a devastating loss that is incredibly painful for the families.”
Alaskan native Adrian Murfitt, 35, a commercial fisherman, died in his friend Brian MacKinnon’s arms. “He was like an Alaskan cowboy, but when he saw a dog he’d turn into a 10-year-old kid,” MacKinnon told the LA Times.
Fifty-six-year-old John Phippen of Santa Clarita, who owned a home remodeling company, was dancing with his son, Travis, when a bullet hit him in the back, according to the LA Times. Travis, who didn’t realise he’d been shot in the arm, carried his father to the hospital, where he died.
“He was my best friend,” Travis told the Times. “He never did anything wrong to anybody. He was always kind and gentle. He was the biggest teddy bear I knew.”
West Virginian Denise Burditus died in her husband’s arms. Just hours before the shooting, she posted a photo of the couple smiling at the festival on Facebook.
Two Canadians, Jordan McIldoon from Maple Ridge, British Colombia, and Jessica Klymchuk of Valleyview, Alberta, were killed, CBC reported. She was a mother a four who worked at a Catholic school. McIldoon was a 23-year-old mechanic’s apprentice. He died in a woman’s arms.
“We only had one child,” McIldoon’s parents told CBC. “We just don’t know what to do.”
Rachel Parker, a civilian employee with the Manhattan Beach Police Department in California for 10 years, was also killed, CBS News Los Angeles reported. The MBPD said in a statement that she died at the hospital.
— Mark Danaj (@MarkDanaj) October 3, 2017
Sandy Casey, who taught special education at Manhattan Beach Middle School, was also shot.
“She is loved by students and colleagues alike and will be remembered for her sense of humour, her passion for her work, her devotion to her students, and her commitment to continuing her own learning and to taking on whatever new projects came her way,” the Manhattan Beach Unified School District said in a statement to the Los Angeles Times.
Lisa Romero, a high school teacher from Gallup, New Mexico, also died. A friend told KRQE News that she was a “sweet and beautiful woman.”
“Ms. Lisa Romero, you have touched so many lives,” Ryan Gomito, a history teacher from nearby Miyamura High School, said in Facebook interview, according to The Times. “Rest easy, Ma’am.”
Susan Smith, 53, was another school employee who died. She was an office manager at an elementary school in Simi Valley, California for 16 years and was married three children.
“She was the hub of the school. She was the center of it. Everyone who came through those doors she knew. She knew the children, she knew the staff, she knew the parents,” school spokesperson Jake Finch told the LA Times.
Neysa Tonks, a technology worker from Irvine, also died, the Times reported. She had three sons.
Thomas Day Jr., 54, of Riverside, California, was a home builder and attended the concert with four of his children.
“He was the best dad. That’s why the kids were with him,”Thomas Day Sr., his father, said in The Times.
Angela Gomez, 20, of Riverside, Cailfornia, graduated high school in 2015 and attended Riverside Community College.
“Angie was a fun-loving, sweet young lady with a great sense of humor,” Lupe Avila, Gomez’s former cheer coach, said in an email in The Times. “Angie was a loyal friend who loved her family and will be forever missed by all those who knew her.”
Prayers to Angie’s family & Ethan. Anything helps. RIP lovely https://t.co/PV5xeci1ND
— Lyssette (@lysssetteolivia) October 2, 2017
Bailey Schweitzer, 20, was a receptionist for a software company in Bakersfield, California.
“Bailey was always the ray of sunshine in our office on a cloudy day,” Fred Brakeman, the chief executive of the company, said in The Times. “No one could possibly have a bad day when Bailey was around. If you have ever called or visited our office, she was the perky one that helped direct you to the staff member you needed.”
Rhonda LeRocque, 42, of Tewksbury, Massachusetts, worked at a design firm in Cambridge and was a member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. After Hurricane Katrina wrought devastation in Louisiana, LeRocque and her husband helped rebuild homes in the state.
“It makes no sense. Why would he do this?” Jennifer Zeleneski, LeRocque’s sister, said in the Boston Herald. “My sister didn’t do anything. She never hurt people. She was the [kindest] person that I know.”
Christopher Roybal, 28, of Corona, California, was a US Navy veteran who served in Afghanistan.
“Today is the saddest day of my life,” Debby Allen, his mother, wrote on Facebook. “My son Christopher Roybal was murdered last night in Las Vegas. My heart is broken in a billion pieces. For anyone who knew the relationship we shared, you then know we were best friends. I will forever miss my Munchkin.”
Jennifer Topaz Irvine, a family law attorney based in San Diego, was known by her coworkers as a “great attorney” and “happy and energetic,” according to CBS News.
“A tragic loss of a kind, generous, and beautiful lady,”& Thomas Slattery, a coworker, wrote on Facebook. “She will be greatly missed.”
Carrie Barnette, 34, of Riverside, California worked in food services for Disneyland.
Barnette was at a friend’s birthday party when she was shot, according to a friend who contacted Mavis Barnette, her mother. Although Mavis has been unable to reach medical officials confirming her daughter’s death, based on what her friend told her, she is reportedly convinced that Barnette had died.
“Beautiful child; she was my firstborn,” Mavis said in The Times. “She was always generous and helping everybody in every way. She loved her nieces and nephews and her sister and brother.”
Walt Disney Company CEO Robert Iger released a statement: “We are especially heartbroken over the loss of one of our own to this unconscionable and senseless act. Carrie Barnette had been a member of the Disney California Adventure culinary team for ten years and was beloved by her friends and colleagues. Our thoughts are with her family, along with our support, during this incredibly difficult time.”
— TheHappiestBlog.com (@TheHappiestBlog) October 3, 2017
Dana Gardner, 52, of Grand Terrace, California, was a deputy recorder-county clerk for San Bernardino Country. Gardner was with her daughter when she was hit by the gunfire and when she was in an ambulance, on her way to the trauma center, The Times reported.
Hannah Ahlers, 34, of Murrietta, California was a mother of three who was described as a “loving, caring and devoted mother,” according to Las Vegas Review-Journal.
She was attending the concert with her husband and three other couples.
“She could have lit the world up with her smile,” Dave Ahlers, her father-in-law, said in the Review-Journal.
Elementary school wrestling coach Bill Wolfe, Jr. from Shippensburg, Pennsylvania was celebrating his 20th wedding anniversary with his wife, Robyn, according to Fox 43. She was unharmed.
Jack Beaton jumped in front of his wife to shield her from the gunfire, and died, his son, Jake, said on Twitter. He asked for prayers for his father.
— Jabroni (@BeatonJakeOff) October 2, 2017
Stay-at-home mom Dorene Anderson was at the concert from Anchorage, according to the Alaska Dispatch News. “She was the most amazing wife, mother and person this world ever had,” her husband said in a statement. “We are so grateful and lucky for the time that we did have with her.”
Kurt Von Tillow, 55, died in the shooting, while his sister and niece were wounded, according to KCRA. They were expected to survive. His wife, daughter, and son-in-law were also there and unharmed.
“Guarantee you, he was covered in red, white and blue, with a Coors Light in his hand, smiling with his family and listening to some music,” Tillow’s brother-in-law Mark Carson told the NBC affiliate.
Cameron Robinson, 28, legal records specialist with the city of Las Vegas, was shot in the neck and died, according to the Review-Journal.
Victor Link, 55, from Shafter, California, also died, ABC 23 reported.
It will likely take days to identify all of the victims.
“The identification process of all of the injured and the deceased will take time, so authorities are asking the public for patience,” LVMPD said in a press release Monday morning.
The gunman, identified as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino with an automatic rifle, police said. Police said they found him dead with at least 19 rifles in his hotel room.
Many of the Route 91 Harvest festival’s approximately 22,000 attendees were young people, including families with kids. Country star Jason Aldean was onstage performing his headliner set to close the three-day festival when Paddock opened fire.
— Chase Stevens (@CSStevensphoto) October 2, 2017
Police said family members could call 1-866-535-5654 if they are still looking for missing loved ones.
The city of Las Vegas also set up a family reunification center and urged people to donate blood to help the victims.
— City of Las Vegas (@CityOfLasVegas) October 2, 2017
While police secured the area, busloads of people were transported to the Thomas & Mack Center at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, campus, where the Las Vegas Review Journal reported they were patted down before entering.
Officials expect the death toll to rise.
Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said at a news conference that police were still finding people who had taken cover during the shooting as the sun rose on Monday.
“It’s going to take time for us to get through the evacuation phase,” he said.
Clark County Commission Chair Steve Sisolak set up a GoFundMe account to raise money to help victims and their families.
This story is developing. Refresh for updates.
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