Las Vegas shooting: Remembering the fallen
The deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history left 58 dead and more than 520 people injured after a gunman opened fire on crowd of 22,000 concertgoers during a country music festival on the Las Vegas Strip.
As the tragic news unfolded throughout the day, families and friends spoke to media outlets to talk about their loved ones.
At least 59 people were killed and more than 520 injured in Las Vegas Sunday when a gunman opened fire at a country music festival
The 34-year-old was an off-duty police officer with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department for 11 years.
Hartfield was described as a well-respected and selfless member of the community. The military veteran had a son and a daughter. As a youth football coach, he helped every player to excel, said Stan King, whose son played on Hartfield’s team.
Troy Rhett, another friend, said he knew Hartfield was attending the concert on Sunday. After hearing about the mass shooting, he texted him to find out whether he was safe. Hartfield never got back to him.
Hartfield is named as the author of a book titled “Memoirs of a Public Servant” about his career as a Las Vegas police officer.
The 49-year-old was the second Alaskan killed in the shooting, according to her husband’s employer.
She attended the concert with her daughters.
Her husband, John, worked for the Alaska Housing Finance Corp. The company’s CEO sent out an email on Monday saying Dorene was killed in the shooting.
Anderson described herself on Facebook as a stay-at-home mom interested in the minor league hockey team, Alaska Aces. She was a member of the Aces’ “Cowbell Crew.”
“Dorene was the most beautiful, kind and giving woman I have ever known. She loved her husband and girls with a passion we could never match,” wrote Gayle Simmons White, a friend, according to KTUU. “I admired her every action. She was an angel on Earth and will forever walk in our lives.”
The 32-year-old mother of two and soon-to-be grandmother from West Virginia passed away in the arms of her husband, Tony.
“Denise passed in my arms. I LOVE YOU BABE.”” her husband wrote on social media, according to MetroNews, a radio station in West Virginia.
Just hours before the attack, Burditus posted a picture on social media from the festival, showing herself and her husband smiling as they stood in front of the stage. It was the second time the couple attended the festival.
The 48-year-old was a beloved high school secretary and advocate for students from New Mexico. She was described as an “incredible loving and sincere friend, mentor and advocate for students” by the Gallup-McKinley County Public Schools interim superintendent.
Muniz leaves behind a husband, children and grandchildren, according to the school district.
The 29-year-old from Big Sandy, Tenn., died protecting his wife when the gunman unleashed a hail of bullets, his family told Fox affiliate WZTV.
“At this point, I’m in complete disbelief and despair,” the man’s wife, Heather Gulish Melton, told the station in a statement Monday. “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.”
Melton, 29, was a registered nurse who worked at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital in Jackson, Tenn., according to his Facebook profile.
On Friday night, Melton posted on the social media site that he was attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas with his wife, an orthopedic surgeon.
The couple worked at the same hospital and married in 2016.
“We were the couple that never should have met, fallen in love or had a future together….but life is funny and we believe God brought us together as soul mates,” read their wedding page on the website The Knot. “We have shared amazing times together and nearly unbearable heartaches, but through it all we have grown stronger in our love for each other and our families.”
The 23-year-old Canadian died in the shooting, according to multiple media reports. He was days away from his 24th birthday. A fellow concertgoer, Heather Gooze, wrote on her Facebook page that McIldoon died in her arms, CBC News reported Monday.
The man’s parents, who confirmed their son’s death to the news outlet, said McIldoon attended the concert with his girlfriend and had planned to return home on Monday.
“We only had one child,” they said. “We just don’t know what to do.”
The 35-year-old Alaska native died during the concert, a family member said Monday. Murfitt worked as a fisherman, and went to Vegas to attend the concert to “treat himself to something nice and fun,” his sister told The Associated Press.
Shannon Gothard described her brother as a man with a hearty laugh and a former competitive hockey player who still dabbled in the game. “His whole life was always around hockey,” she said.
The 28-year-old was an educational assistant, librarian and bus driver in Valleyview, Alberta.
“The scope of this tragedy is worldwide, and we are feeling its impact here at home,” the division’s superintendent, Betty Turpin, said in a statement.
A post on Klymchuk’s Facebook page says she got engaged in April, and was in Vegas with her fiancé.
The 53-year-old was a California resident who worked for the Simi Valley School District since 2001.
“Susan was wonderful with the kids and the staff and was an integral part of the school community here,” said Jake Finch, the public information officer for the district. “She was the hub of everything that happened at the school. If a kid is sick, she’s the one calling the parents and no matter how chaotic things got here, she was always smiling.”
Co-workers learned about Smith’s death from friends who attended the festival with her.
Guidance counselors were made available to students and teachers on Monday. And when students were told, they took part in activities such as writing letters and making cards for Smith.
“It doesn’t sound like much, but it gives kids something to latch on to, to make sure they felt like they were able to help in some way,” she said.
Smith was married with two adult children.
The 35-year-old was a middle school special education teacher who attended the Las Vegas concert with her fiancé and a friend.
Casey was an alumna of the College of St. Joseph in Rutland, Vt., and Assumption College in Worcester, Mass., said Linda O’Leary, a cousin of Casey’s mother who is acting as a family spokeswoman. The family is discussing setting up a scholarship in Casey’s name.
Quinton Robbins, 20, was a University of Nevada-Las Vegas student described as easily-admired. He had a “contagious laugh and smile,” according to his aunt.
“I can’t say enough good about this sweet soul,” the aunt, Kilee Wells Sanders, wrote on social media. “Everyone who met him loved him. His contagious laugh and smile.”
“Please also respect their privacy as this is a devastating loss that is incredibly painful for the families,” she added as she asked for people’s prayers.
Angie Gomez was a 2015 graduate of Riverside Polytechnic High School PTSA in Riverside, Calif.
“She will always be loved and endeared by our Poly Family,” the school wrote on Facebook.
Rhonda LeRocque, 41, was described as “one of the nicest people you will ever meet in your life” who attended Sunday’s concert with her daughter and husband.
The devastated family confirmed her death to The Boston Globe. Her husband and daughter were not harmed.
“All I know is someone started shooting and people are running and she got shot in the head,” Carol Marquis, LeRocque’s grandmother, told the Globe. “And we lost a dear, close, good person — one of the nicest people you will ever meet in your life.”
The woman from Massachusetts was active in her church and worked for a design firm, the Globe reported.
A San Diego “bubbly, vivacious, pint-sized, aggressive attorney,” Jennifer Irvine, 42, was set to do “good things in her career.”
She reportedly spent her final moments dancing and singing at the concert with her girlfriends, TIME magazine reports.
“Jennifer Irvine, you are a shining light that will not be extinguished by a gutless coward with a gun. You brought so much joy to others, including me. You left this world singing & dancing, but far too soon,” wrote Kyle Krasta, a friend of Jennifer’s.
“You made this world a better place simply by your presence. So long, my dear friend.”
A father from Santa Clarita, Calif., John Phippen’s son remains hospitalized after being shot. But Phippen died Monday morning.
“If you didn’t know John you surely missed out,” family friend Leah Nagyivanyi said on a GoFundMe page for the father. “He had a heart that was larger than life and a personality to match. You felt like you knew him for years the first time you met him.”
Nagyivanyi said Phippen “enjoyed the simple things in life.”
“Even if you were someone he had never met before but were in need, he was there for you,” she recalled.
Thomas Day Jr.
Thomas Day Jr., 54, of the Las Vegas area, was at the festival with his four children. He reportedly worked as a home builder.
Neysa Tonks, 46, originally from Utah, moved to Las Vegas 10 years ago.
Her brother said: “She was pretty much a single mother who raised three boys. She was a great mom and a great sister and a great friend,” who worked at the IT firm Technologent.
Bailey Schweitzer, 20, was described as “the ray of sunshine” by her employers.
“If you have ever called or visited our office, she was the perky one that helped direct you to the staff member you needed,” wrote Infinity Communications and Consulting CEO Fred Brakeman in a statement announcing the death.
Rachael Parker, a police records technician, was shot and ultimately died in the hospital, the Manhattan Beach Police Department said.
Parker was among four department employees who were attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival while off-duty. Another suffered minor injuries.
“She was employed with the Manhattan Beach Police Department for 10 years and will be greatly missed,” the department said in a statement.
Jack Beaton of Bakersfield, Calif., was killed while covering his wife from gunfire.
His mother-in-law told KBAX-TV that Beaton was an “incredibly friendly, caring and loving” man.
The news station reported that he was celebrating his 23rd anniversary at the music festival, and when the gunfire rang out, he shielded his wife.
Jerry Cook, his father-in-law, said Beaton covered his wife with his body and “got shot I don’t know how many times.”
“She knew he was dying,” Cook said of his daughter. “He told her he loved her. She told him she loved him, and she would see him in heaven.”
Beaton has two children, Jake and Delaney, according to KBAX.
Victor Link, 55, was living in San Clemente, Calif., his sister told KBAX-TV. He was reportedly killed by the gunman on Sunday.
Christopher Roybal, 28, was described as jovial and fun-loving, despite experiencing intense combat during four tours in the Middle East.
“He is a guy that could always put a smile on your face … after all the stuff he had been through,” said David Harman, who founded a company that owns the Colorado gym where Roybal worked.
Roybal, 28, worked at Crunch Fitness in Corona and Riverside, California, before he moved at the beginning of the year to help open franchises in Colorado Springs.
“As far as responsibility and discipline and work ethic, there wasn’t any question about him coming on board with us,” said Harman, who has known Roybal for about 4 ½ years. “He was a good hard worker, a grinder.”
“He was the guy who if your car broke down in the middle of the night, you could call him and he would come help you,” Harman added. “He is that guy who would find solutions, not report on problems.”
A mother of three from Murrietta, Calif., Hannah Ahlers was one of the victims in Sunday night’s shooting, her father-in-law told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Ahlers, 34, attended the festival with her husband and other couples. She was fatally shot in the head when the gunman opened fire.
Dave Ahlers, her father-in-law, said she was a “loving, caring and devoted mother” of children who range in age from 14- to 3-years-old.
On her Facebook page, friends remembered Ahlers as a “beautiful person inside and out.” One Facebook friend commented that Ahlers “would publicly declare [her] faith on” social media, something that was striking.
Kurt Von Tillow
Kurt Von Tillow, 55, attended the festival with some family members and was fatally shot. His wife, daughter and son-in-law managed to escape the concert unharmed; his sister and niece were hospitalized but expected to survive, according to KCRA-TV.
“My brother-in-law was the most patriotic person you’ve ever met,” Von Tillow’s brother-in-law Mark Carson told the news station. “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.”
A memorial has been erected outside of Von Tillow’s backyard, adorned with an American flag and flowers. During a gathering of friends and family Monday to remember the Californian, the national anthem played.
“He loved to golf, loved his club, loved his family, loved his country,” Carson told KCRA. “He’ll be really missed.”
Disney employee Carrie Barnette was among those killed Sunday night, Disney CEO Robert Iger announced on Twitter.
Barnette, 34, worked at Flo’s V-8 Café in Cars Land in Disney California Adventure in Anaheim, Calif., according to People.
“Carrie Barnette has been a member of the Disney California Adventure culinary team for ten years and was beloved by her friends and colleagues,” Iger said in a statement. “Our thoughts are with her family, along with our support, during this incredibly difficult time.”
Iger also took to Twitter to announce the loss of the employee.
“A senseless, horrific, act, and a terrible loss for so many,” Iger said. “Tragic.”
Rachel Steiman, who told the Arizona Republic that she was best friends with Barnette, said her “whole world is devastated.”
“I don’t know how I’m going to get through life without her,” Steiman said.
Barnette’s cousin, Janice Chambers, described her as “the life of the party.”
“Always smiling, happy and upbeat. She spent many recent years caring for my aunt and uncle until they passed,” Chambers recalled. “She was definitely grandpa’s girl…She was also a huge animal lover.”
Stacee Rodrigues Etcheber
The wife of a San Francisco police officer, Stacee Rodrigues Etcheber also died in the Las Vegas attack, the San Francisco Police Department announced.
“With heavy hearts, the San Francisco Police Department today mourns the passing of Stacee Etcheber,” Chief William Scott said in a statement. “Stacee was taken in a senseless act of violence as her husband, SFPD Officer Vinnie Etcheber, heroically rushed to aid shooting victims in Las Vegas on Sunday.”
Scott said Etcheber, 50, was a mother to two children and a hairstylist in Marin County.
“As we grieve, we ask the public to keep the Etcheber family in their thoughts, along with all of the victims of this tragic incident,” Scott said.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Etcheber’s husband had instructed her to run away from the scene while he stayed behind to help injured people.
Dana Gardner, 52, was with her daughter, Kayla, at the music festival. Kayla was uninjured, but her mother died during the attack, KABC-TV reported.
Gardner has two other children as well, Anthony and Ryan, according to KABC.
“We are devastated and still in shock trying to comprehend what happened last night. My family and I appreciate the outpouring of love and support and ask for prayers at this time,” Kayla Gardner wrote on Facebook Monday.
Gardner had worked at the San Bernardino County Assessor/Recorder/County Clerk’s office for 26 years, the San Bernardino Sun reported.
“She had a lot of knowledge. She was a great employee,” Assessor/Recorder/County Clerk Bob Dutton told the newspaper. He also described Gardner as a “dedicated public servant” and a “go-to” person.
“Everybody here is still in shock. They’re waiting for [her] to walk through the door,” Dutton said.
A kindergarten teacher from California, Jenny Parks was among those killed during the shooting.
Parks attended the concert with her husband, Bobby, who was shot in the arm and is awaiting surgery on his hand, Jessica Maddin, a family friend said.
Bobby and Jenny Parks were high school sweethearts and have two children together. Jenny Parks helped Maddin start the group, Jessica’s Hope Project, which provides care packages to troops.
Jenny Parks received her master’s degree in education in May, according to People.
Dr. Steven McCarthy, Bobby Parks’ uncle, said Jenny was “absolutely beautiful and very intelligent, had a wonderful sense of humor and was so kind.” He said she loved decorating for holidays and was planning a birthday party for her husband for next week before she died.
“They were the perfect family,” he said.
Bill Wolfe Jr.
Shippensburg Police Department said on Facebook that Bill Wolfe Jr., “has been confirmed to be among the deceased as a result of the mass attack in Las Vegas.”
“Please continue to hold our entire family as well as those affected across the nation in your unending prayers,” the department said.
Wolfe was a youth wrestling and baseball coach in the Pennsylvania, according to WHTM-TV. He was in Las Vegas to celebrate his 20th wedding anniversary.
“This league is far more than a sports organization. It is a family, and that was so evident by the amount of support shown by our Little Leagues families during this unfathomable time of sorrow,” Shippensburg Little League said in a Facebook post. “We ask that you all help us keep Bill’s memory alive through your continued commitment to this League and the youth that Bill impacted on a daily basis.”
“His family will forever be in our thoughts and prayers,” the league said.
Cory Forrester, the booster club president, remembered Wolfe as “just a good guy.”
“He was a go-to kind of guy, a guy you could depend on, a kind of guy you could be proud to be around,” Forrester told PennLive.com.
A pipefitter from Riverside, Calif., 29-year-old Austin Davis’ death was confirmed by his girlfriend, Aubree Hennigan on Facebook.
“My love, I can’t believe this happened. You didn’t deserve this,” she wrote.
Erick Silva, a 21-year-old living in Las Vegas, worked for the Contemporary Services Corporation, WJBD reported.
Melissa Ramirez, a 2014 graduate of California State University, Bakersfield, was among the shooting victims.
Brennan Stewart was identified as one of the 59 victims of Sunday night’s mass shooting.
Stewart, a 30-year-old Las Vegas native, died while protecting his girlfriend, Gia Iantuono, from gunfire, according to WSLS.
For those looking to get in contact with their loved ones, please call 1-800-536-9488.
Fox News’ Cristina Corbin, Nicole Darrah, Lukas Mikelionis, Paulina Dedaj, Kaitlyn Schallhorn and The Associated Press contributed.