Policeman, nurse, fisherman, single mother among dead in Las Vegas concert massacre
Dozens of people were killed and hundreds were injured Sunday when a gunman opened fire at a country music festival in Las Vegas. Here are some of those who died.
They came from Alaska and Tennessee, California and West Virginia, commercial fishermen, police officers, teachers, retirees – drawn together only by a love of country music. When the shooting stopped, 59 of those distant lives would end in the latest massacre to take the grim title of “the worst mass shooting in modern American history.”
Here are some of the victims:
Charleston Hartfield, 34, was the off-duty Las Vegas police officer among those killed, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported, citing people who knew the officer. “He was probably busy helping others,” Hartfield’s friend Troy Rhett told the newspaper.
“I don’t know a better man than Charles.” The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, which did not identify the fallen officer, reported the death on Twitter.
Sonny Melton, 29, of Big Sandy, Tennessee, saved his wife, Heather Melton, just before he was shot dead, she told WSMV-TV in Nashville.
“He grabbed me and started running when I felt him get shot in the back,” she told the NBC affiliate. Sonny Melton worked as a registered nurse, media reports said.
Adrian Murfitt, 35, was a commercial fisherman in Anchorage, Alaska, the Alaska Dispatch News reported, which said he was at the concert with his best friend, Brian MacKinnon.
The pair was taking a picture and a bullet went through Murfitt’s neck, MacKinnon told the paper.
Denise Burditus, 50, of Martinsburg, West Virginia, attended the concert with her husband, Tony, WVVA TV in West Virginia reported. She posted a photograph on Facebook just minutes before the gunman opened fire, the NBC affiliate said.
John Phippen, of Santa Clarita, California, was a father of five, grandfather of one and owned a remodelling and repair company, KHTS AM 1220 radio station reported. He attended the concert with his son Travis, who was shot in the arm, the station said.
“If you didn’t know John you surely missed out. He had a heart that was larger than life and a personality to match,” a GoFundMe page said.
“Even if you were someone he had never met before but were in need, he was there for you.”
Sandy Casey was a special-education teacher at Manhattan Beach Middle School in California, KGTV in San Diego said. Casey was among a group of Manhattan Beach Unified School District staff, the ABC affiliate reported.
Chris Roybal, 28, of southern California, was a Navy veteran who served in Afghanistan, ABC News said. Roybal was shot in the chest, ABC said.
THOMAS DAY JNR
Thomas Day Jnr, 54, of Riverside, California, a home builder, went to the festival with his four children, who are in their 20s and 30s, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“He was the best dad. That’s why the kids were with him,” his father, Thomas Day Sr., told the newspaper.
Hannah Ahlers, a 35-year-old mother of three from Murrieta, California, was shot in the head and died, ABC News reported.
Angie Gomez was a 2015 alumna of Riverside Polytechnic High School PTSA in Riverside, California, the school said on Facebook.
“She will always be loved and endeared by our Poly Family,” the school said.
Dana Gardner was an employee for California’s San Bernardino County for 26 years and most recently worked as a deputy recorder, the San Bernardino Sun reported.
JENNIFER TOPAZ IRVINE
Jennifer Topaz Irvine was a family lawyer based in San Diego, according to CBS News. A colleague and friend identified Irvine as a victim to a CBS correspondent.
Jessica Klymchuk, 28, of Valleyview, Alberta, was a librarian and the single mother of four children, Canada’s Globe and Mail reported. It said she was visiting Las Vegas with her fiancé.
“She’s a very good mother. She’s raised four beautiful children,” Klymchuk’s grandmother Margaret told the paper.
Rhonda LeRocque, of Tewksbury, Massachusetts, was a wife and mother, devout Jehovah’s Witness and worked for a Cambridge design firm, The Boston Globe reported.
LeRocque attended the concert with her husband, Jason and their 7-year-old daughter, who were not injured, the newspaper said.
“Rhonda would do everything to be the best mom and the best wife she could be,” LeRocque’s sister, Jennifer Zelenski, told the paper.
Jordan McIldoon, 23, of Maple Ridge, British Columbia, was also killed, said the premier of British Columbia, John Horgan. McIldoon was a heavy-duty mechanic apprentice and about to start trade school, CBC News reported, which said he was attending the festival with his girlfriend.
McIldoon died in the arms of a woman named Heather Gooze, CBC said.
Rachael Parker was a records technician with the Manhattan Beach Police Department in California, where she worked for 10 years, the police department said in a statement. Parker attended the concert with three other off-duty police department employees, police said.
Jenny Parks was a teacher with Westside Union School District in California, KABC-TV in Los Angeles said.
“She touched many lives,” a GoFundMe page set up for her said.
“She leaves behind her husband, Bobby and young children, Bryce and Leah.”
Quinton Robbins, 20, of Henderson, Nevada, studied at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and worked in local government, Newsweek reported.
His aunt, Kilee Wells Sanders, confirmed his death in a Facebook post: “He was the most kind and loving soul. Everyone who met him loved him. His contagious laugh and smile. He was truly an amazing person. He will be missed by so many.”
Lisa Romero-Muniz was a secretary at Miyamura High School in Gallup, New Mexico, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.
In her most recent role, Romero-Muniz offered encouragement and support to students during disciplinary proceedings, the newspaper said. She was described as outgoing, kind and considerate, it said.
Bailey Schweitzer, 20, was from Bakersfield, California, her brother told the Bakersfield Californian newspaper.
Susan Smith, 53, was a school office manager in Simi Valley, California, the Ventura County Star reported, citing a school district representative. Smith was an ardent country music fan and worked at an junior school for three years, the newspaper said.
Neysa Tonks, of Las Vegas, who worked at Technologent, an Irvine, California-based technology company, was also among the victims, the Los Angeles Times said. She was the mother of three boys, according to a GoFundMe campaign created by Technologent.
“Neysa brought joy, happiness, fun and laughter to so many of us. The senseless tragedy in Las Vegas Sunday has unnessarily (sic) taken her from our community,” the GoFundMe page said.
Additional reporting by The Washington Post and Tribune News Service