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Parents, Friends, Partners: Remembering Las Vegas Shooting Victims

Las Vegas shooting: Friends waited for text messages that never came, families learned the worst from hospitals.

Published
World
6 min read
Friends waited for text messages that never came, families learned the worst from hospitals and local authorities.
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They were school teachers and football coaches, real estate agents and local business owners. They were parents, siblings, husbands, wives, neighbours and friends.

They traveled to Las Vegas to see their favourite stars, posting videos and photos to social media.

At least 59 of them never made it home after a gunman opened fire from the 32nd floor of a Las Vegas hotel onto a crowd of more than 22,000 below at a country music festival.
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Details emerged Monday about the lives of those who died, as well as countless more who were injured. Friends waited for text messages that never came, families learned the worst from hospitals and local authorities. In a few cases, families still frantically searched Monday night for news. Many have launched fundraising campaigns for the children and families left behind, while others have vowed to start scholarship funds in their loved ones' names.

Also Read: Las Vegas Shooting Live: 59 Dead, Police Recover 42 Guns

Here is a closer look at some of the victims who lost their lives in the Las Vegas shooting.

Charleston Hartfield

Charleston Hartfield, 34, was the off-duty LasVegas 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

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.

Sonny Melton.
Sonny Melton.
(Photo: AP)

Adrian Murfitt

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.
Adrian Murfitt.
Adrian Murfitt.
(Photo: AP)

Denise Burditus

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

John Phippen, of Santa Clarita, California, was a father of five, grandfather of one and owned a remodeling 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

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

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.

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Thomas Day Jr

Thomas Day Jr, 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. "They're crushed."

Hannah Ahlers

Hannah Ahlers, a 35-year-old mother of three from Murrieta, California, died after she was shot in the head, ABC News reported.

Angie Gomez

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 authorities said in a post.

Dana Gardner

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 law attorney based in San Diego, according to CBS News. A co-worker and friend identified Irvine as a victim to a CBS correspondent.

Jessica Klymchuk

Jessica Klymchuk, 28, of Valleyview, Alberta, was a librarian and the single mother of four children, Canada's Globe and Mail reported. According to the report, she was visiting Las Vegas with her fiance.

"She's a very good mother. She's raised four beautiful children," Klymchuk's grandmother Margaret told the paper.

Rhonda Lerocque

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.
Jennifer Zelenski, LeRocque’s Sister

Jordan McIldoon

Jordan McIldoon, 23, of Maple Ridge, British Columbia, was killed during the shootout at the concert, that he was attending with his girlfriend.

McIldoon, a heavy-duty mechanic apprentice who about to start trade school, died in the arms of a woman named Heather Gooze, CBC reported.

Rachael Parker

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.

Rachael Parker.
Rachael Parker.
(Photo: AP)
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Jenny Parks

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 is survived by her husband, Bobby and young children, Bryce and Leah.

Quinton Robbins

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

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

Bailey Schweitzer, 20, was from Bakersfield, California, her brother told the Bakersfield Californian newspaper.

Susan Smith

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 elementary school for three years, the newspaper said.

Neysa Tonks

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.
GoFundMe Page

Dorene Anderson

Dorene Anderson from Anchorage, Alaska, was killed in the mass shooting in Las Vegas, her husband's employer said Monday.

Anderson's husband, John, works for the Alaska Housing Finance Corp. The CEO of the organisation sent an email to employees Monday informing them that Dorene had been killed in the shooting.

Anderson described herself on her Facebook page as a stay-at-home wife and mother whose outside interest was a passion for the Alaska Aces, a minor league hockey team. She had been a member of the Aces' ‘Cowbell Crew’.

Lisa Romero

Lisa Romero, a high school secretary from Gallup, New Mexico, was an "incredible loving and sincere friend, mentor and advocate for students," the Gallup-McKinley County Public Schools interim superintendent said Monday.

"Last night during the mass shooting in Las Vegas we lost one of our staff members," interim superintendent Mike Hyatt wrote to employees.

Lisa Romero, discipline secretary at Miyamura (High School), was a victim in the shooting. Our prayers go out to her family during this tragic time.

(With inputs from AP, Reuters)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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