1. News

The stories of the lives lost in the Las Vegas shooting

This photo combination shows some of the victims of the mass shooting that occurred at a country music festival in Las Vegas on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017. [Associated Press]
This photo combination shows some of the victims of the mass shooting that occurred at a country music festival in Las Vegas on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017. [Associated Press]
Published Oct. 6, 2017

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 stories of those who died.


Melissa Ramirez

Melissa Ramirez

Melissa Ramirez, 26, grew up in California's Antelope Valley amid a big and close-knit extended family that she often visited on weekends when she attended college, at California State University at Bakersfield.

Her love of country music drew her to the festival in Las Vegas, her cousin, Fabiola Farnetti, said on Tuesday. When the two were in high school, they spent summers working alongside Ramirez's parents selling fruit and vegetables for a local farm company at flea markets in the area.

The daughter of Mexican immigrants who became United States citizens, Ramirez majored in business and had recently received a promotion at the car insurance company where she worked, her cousin said.

"She always helped her parents, and just wanted to be there," Farnetti said.

The family had held out hope that she had survived the shooting, but her father identified her remains at the Las Vegas morgue early on Tuesday.

On her Instagram account, she posted photographs of her dog, a boxer, her young niece and, most recently, from her trip to Las Vegas.

• • •


Kurt Von Tillow

Kurt Von Tillow

Kurt Von Tillow was "the most patriotic person you've ever met," his brother-in-law, Mark Carson, told KCRA, a local NBC News station for Cameron Park, Calif., the small town in the Sierra foothills near Sacramento where Von Tillow lived.

Von Tillow had traveled to Las Vegas for the concert with family members. His wife and daughter escaped unharmed, Carson said. Von Tillow's sister was shot in the thigh and his niece in an ankle. Both are expected to recover.

Von Tillow's wife told family members she was herded out of the area by the authorities amid the chaos of the shooting scene, Carson said. "That was probably the hardest part for her — having to leave him there," he said.

On Monday, friends and family gathered at the Cameron Park Country Club, where Von Tillow was a member. At his home, family members set up a memorial with an American flag, and played the national anthem.

"Guarantee you, he's covered in red, white and blue right now, with a Coors Light in his hand, smiling with his family and listening to some music," Carson told the television station.


from Las Vegas

Erick Silva

Erick Silva

Silva's goal in life was to help others, his uncle Rob Morgan said. He was working as a security guard at the concert, and Morgan believes he was one of the first people killed. He learned that his nephew was dead when he called Silva's cellphone Monday morning. A woman from the coroner's office answered and told him Silva had been shot in the head.

Silva would buy hamburgers and give them to homeless people, Morgan recalled. He would treat Morgan and other relatives to dinner. He worked 18-hour shifts, and in his free time he held yard sales, all to help his mother with her bills.

Keep up with Tampa Bay’s top headlines

Keep up with Tampa Bay’s top headlines

Subscribe to our free DayStarter newsletter

We’ll deliver the latest news and information you need to know every weekday morning.

You’re all signed up!

Want more of our free, weekly newsletters in your inbox? Let’s get started.

Explore all your options

"He said he would never leave his mom, she would never have to worry," Morgan said.

Silva was also fearless, his uncle said; he once saw him tackle a shoplifter while off duty.

Event manager James Garrett wrote on Facebook that Silva started working with him a couple of weeks before the festival. "I know that he loved being Security," he wrote. "I know that he was doing all that he could do to keep [people safe] before his life was taken."

• • •


from Las Vegas


Gia Iantuono and Brennan Stewart


Gia Iantuono and Brennan Stewart

Stewart had a passion for music, so it's no surprise that he would have spent his final evening at the Route 91 Harvest Music festival with his girlfriend, Gia Iantuono.

"I will remember Brennan as a light that came into my life when I needed one," Iantuono wrote in a Facebook message to The Post. "In all aspects he was just wonderful. I don't think I've ever used that word to describe somebody, but that is what he was."

Iantuono recalled that one moment Stewart was holding her and they were singing along to the music at the festival.

The next she heard sounds she couldn't identify. She said she was hit in the knee by something and fell to the ground. She looked back and saw Stewart on the ground as well. She went to him, saw blood and started screaming.

Iantuono wrote that a man eventually came over to her and told her she needed to run, but her knee was dislocated. The man picked her up and moved her to a hiding place beneath a table with other concertgoers.

Eventually, the man then scooped her up again and carried her to some bleachers.

Iantuono was eventually carried to a vehicle in a wheelbarrow and taken to a hospital. Iantuono only later learned what had happened to Stewart. Iantuono wrote that Stewart worked for his father's construction company.

He worked hard on his music in his spare time. He played the guitar and was recording an EP. He had just finished the last song and sent it to Nashville to be mixed.

Iantuono recalled Stewart painstakingly singing the vocal track again and again until it was perfect. Iantuono said Stewart always made her laugh. She works at a bar and recalled the time Stewart asked her out.

She initially rebuffed him, but he returned.

"He came back later on saying how about I just propose to you now and we can have an Elvis wedding," Iantuono wrote. "I of course couldn't deny him then."

• • •


from Los Angeles

Michelle Vo

Michelle Vo

Vo hadn't always loved country music. In fact, it was fairly recently that a family member began introducing her to the genre. "Slowly she drifted toward it," recalled Diane Hawkins, 40, Vo's oldest sister. "In country, the theme of each song is so sweet, she fell in love with it."

Charismatic, energetic and independent, Vo decided to attend her first country music festival, traveling alone last week to Las Vegas.

Vo's mother immigrated from Vietnam after the fall of Saigon, bringing along her two daughters. Vo was then born in the United States. Raised near San Jose, she graduated from Independence High School before attending the University of California at Davis.

Her Vietnamese name is "My," which her sister says means "America."

"It was the perfect American dream," said Jeremiah Hawkins, Vo's brother-in-law. "An immigrant family, against all odds, persevering."

A high-achieving insurance agent, Vo worked at New York Life in Los Angeles and was an eager volunteer at the Red Cross.

"If they had let her go every day, she would have gone every day," Diane Hawkins said. "She gave blood religiously, and they had to tell her she could only come back every two weeks."

Her relationships with her family remained especially tight, especially with her mother and sisters. In the moments before the shooting, she'd been showing photos of her sisters to Kody Robertson, a new friend she'd met at the festival, bragging about how beautiful they are.

"She had such a bubbly energetic personality," Robertson said. "Truly a beautiful person."

• • •


from Beaumont, Calif.

Hannah Ahlers

Hannah Ahlers

Ahlers's life was wrapped up in her family, her brother Lance Miller said. She was the mother of three children, ages 3, 11 and 14, and married her husband, Brian Ahlers, when she was 17. She loved going to the river, four-wheeling and watching her daughter's volleyball matches, Miller, 45, said.

"She was our sunshine," Miller said. "The ones that knew her know how special she was."

Hannah and Brian Ahlers were at the concert when a bullet struck her in the head, Miller confirmed. Her husband sent Miller a message to read on his behalf while he grieves his wife, whom he called "beautiful inside and out."

"She was a full-time housewife and mommy and she was amazing at it," Brian Ahlers told Miller. "She wasn't too good for anybody."

• • •


from Enoch, Utah

Heather Alvarado

Heather Alvarado

Alvarado died of injuries from the concert shooting, said Cedar City, Utah, police Sgt. Jerry Womack. She was married to Albert Alvarado, a firefighter.

"It is with heavy hearts that we acknowledge the passing of Heather Warino Alvarado, wife of Cedar City Firefighter Albert Alvarado," the Cedar City Fire Department wrote in a news release.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Alvarado/Warino family," the release said. "At the family's request we are asking for you to respect their privacy and give them a chance to grieve and process their loss."

• • •


Dorene Anderson

Dorene Anderson

Anderson was at the concert with her husband and daughters, her friend Stefanie Lawhorn wrote on Facebook.

"We were great childhood friends who just reunited a couple months ago," Lawhorn wrote. "She was a great friend and wonderful mother who loved her family more than anything!!!"

Kimberly Templeton Sant went to high school with Anderson in Tigard, Ore.

"She was much loved by family and friends and remembered for her kindness and her smile," she wrote on Facebook.

• • •


Carrie Barnette

Carrie Barnette

The first message on Carrie Barnette's Facebook page appeared at 11:37 p.m. "Please please please let us know your ok!"

Maybe she had simply lost her phone in the chaos at the Route 91 Harvest festival, her friends and family must have thought. If she could get to the Internet, she might check Facebook and be able to let everyone know she was safe. As hours passed, more posts appeared, with emoji, exclamation points and colorful backgrounds that allowed the text to appear bigger and more urgent.

It wasn't until 1:38 p.m. when one of the posts indicated what might have happened. "Omg," a friend wrote. "I can't believe it."

By Monday evening, Barnette's death was confirmed by her employer, the Walt Disney Co. She worked at Disney's parks in California and was 34 years old. Chief executive Robert Iger said in a tweet that Barnette's passing was "tragic."

"A senseless, horrific, act, and a terrible loss for so many," Iger said.

After the news, the messages on Barnette's Facebook -- which was converted into a memorial page -- continued.

"To lose someone with a heart like yours," a friend wrote. "Just doesn't make sense."

• • •


from Bakersfield, Calif.

Jack Beaton

Jack Beaton

Once the couple realized the firecracker sounds were bullets, Jack Beaton told his wife to "get down" and laid on top of her. He said, "I love you, Laurie." She said, "I love you, Jack." And then "he took a bullet" to save his wife's life.

She knew he died in her arms and she told him she would see him in heaven, his mother-in-law, Lauraine Cook, 70, recounted from conversations with Laurie Beaton.

The couple was celebrating their 23rd wedding anniversary at the concert with friends. Once the bullets stopped, friends told Laurie, 49, she needed to leave her husband and run.

While escaping the grounds, Laurie "called us hysterical saying that she knows that she lost him," Cook said. "She told me every moment of it, every second. She said it was -- it happened so fast, but in slow motion."

The family is still in shock, Cook said, describing Jack Beaton as "just larger than life. Everybody loved him. He's that kind of a guy."

Beaton "adored" his family, Cook said, and went to Mammoth Mountain every year for a family trip. He loved camping, fishing and doing anything with his two children, Jake, 20, and Delaney, 18.

He worked for Diamond Ridge Roofing, and Cook said he was "gregarious" and "outgoing," even picking up a stray dog once from a worksite and bringing her home.

"They were just the happiest couple," Cook said. "He had always told her … 'I would die for you.' That's how much he loved her. And she said he did. They were soul mates."

His son, Jake, posted photos of his father on Facebook with the following message: "Lost my best friend. I love you so much more then you could ever imagine. Please watch over our family. You will forever be remembered as our hero! #atruehero"

• • •

Family photo

Tom Day Jr. with his family at the Route 91 Harvest music festival on Sunday.

Family photo

Tom Day Jr. with his family at the Route 91 Harvest music festival on Sunday.


from Riverside, Calif.

Day was a semi-retired contractor who loved classic cars and country music. He was also the father of four.

Day Jr.'s father told the Los Angeles Times that his son was at the concert with his four children. "He was the best dad. That's why the kids were with him," he said. Rex Gallardo grew up with Day in the Riverside area, where he said his friend played football and baseball. "He's always been a striving kid -- anything he wanted, he went after," Gallardo said. "He always had a smile, was always the happiest guy - nothing really bothered him." Day owned and operated the Portrait Construction company, which did commercial and residential work and renovations in California starting 1990. In 2012, the company won awards for its work on a 211-unit co-op in San Francisco.

• • •


from Novato, Calif.

Stacee Etcheber

Stacee Etcheber

Stacee Etcheber, a hairdresser and mother of two who was separated from her husband during the chaos of the shooting, was confirmed as one of the victims Tuesday.

"It's with a heavy heart and deep sorrow, Stacee Etcheber has passed away," Al Etcheber, who identified himself as Stacee's brother-in-law, wrote in a public Facebook post. "Please pray for our family during this difficult time. She leaves behind two adoring beautiful children and an amazing husband. Thank you to everyone for all the support in this past few days."

Stacee Etcheber went to the concert with her husband, San Francisco police officer Vinnie Etcheber, and two other friends, Fox 2 KTVU reported. When the shooting erupted, Vinnie told his wife to run to safety as he began to help victims, the San Francisco Bay area news channel reported. But after the chaos, he was unable to find her.

She did not have her cellphone with her and had given her ID to her husband when the concert began, NBC reported.

Etcheber was reported missing Monday, as her family and friends circulated a Facebook post pleading for information on her whereabouts. Al Etcheber drove from northern California to Las Vegas to help his brother search for her.

• • •


from Grand Terrace, Calif.

Dana Gardner

Dana Gardner

Dana Gardner died enjoying the country music festival in Las Vegas with her college-age daughter. Her daughter, Kayla Gardner, survived.

On Facebook, Kayla shared a photo of her and her mom and wrote, "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." Then she tagged her mom and wrote, "I love you!"

Gardner worked for the San Bernardino County Clerk's office, which confirmed her death to the San Bernardino Sun. Her boss, Bob Dutton, told the newspaper that she was an employee there for 26 years and was a "go-to" person and "dedicated public servant."

A GoFundMe page set up by friends of the Gardners on behalf of her children notes that her son, Ryan, is expecting his first baby this month.

"A time for them to celebrate a new life coming into this world will now be hindered by the loss of their mom's life," the friends wrote on the fundraising site.

Gardner's brother-in-law, Adam Foster, wrote a message to her on his Facebook page. He said he'd miss their "silly conversations."

"I look at Kayla Gardner and see nothing but you she was so strong today," Foster wrote. "I know you are smiling and knowing u did a damn good job raising her Ryan and Anthony."

• • •


from St. George, Utah

Cameron Robinson

Cameron Robinson

In the hours before he was shot, Robinson texted his family about what a good time he'd been having at the Route 91 Harvest Festival. He drank his favorite cocktail, bloody marys, at brunch; ran into an old friend; and decided, according to his texts, that he "wanted to have Sam Hunt's babies."

His family was amused, because they knew that back at his home in St. George, Utah, Robinson already had babies, of a sort. His boyfriend, Robert Eardley, had three children, and in the few years they'd been dating, Robinson had become a father figure to them.

When gunfire sprayed the crowd, Eardley felt shrapnel in his back. Robinson was shot in the neck. Eardley carried Robinson to a vehicle, in hopes of getting him to the hospital.

Before they made it there, Robinson died in his arms.

"This feels like some kind of cosmic joke," said Trina Gray, who raised Robinson from the time he was 8-years-old and is the mother of his sister. Gray lives in Dickinson, Texas.

Last month, a home she was about to move into was flooded by Hurricane Harvey. Two weeks ago, her mother passed away. Now, her family is trying to find a way to explain to her grandchildren, especially Robinson's 4-year-old nephew, that their uncle has died.

"You know that saying, 'God only gives you what you can handle?'" Gray asked. "I hate that saying."

Robinson, she said, was enjoying "the best time of his life."

He had worked hard to attend college online, and was rewarded with a job as a legal records specialist for The City of Las Vegas. He owned a home in the city, but decided to rent it out so he could live with his boyfriend, Eardley, in St. George.

Even though St. George was an 100 mile drive from the city, Robinson made the commute so they could be together. His family members who hadn't previously supported his sexuality were starting to come around, Gray said.

The fact that everything in Robinson's life seemed to be lining up made his abrupt death all the more cruel to her. "Who goes to a concert," she said, "To get shot and killed?

• • •


From Martinsburg, West Virginia

Denise Burditus

Denise Burditus

Burditus recently changed her Facebook profile picture to a photo of her and her husband, Tony Burditus, both smiling, with the Route 91 Harvest festival stage and Mandalay Bay hotel in the background.

The photo was posted hours before a gunman fired into the crowd and she later died in her husband's arms, Tony Burditus wrote on Facebook. The West Virginia resident was a mother of two, grandmother of four and had been married to her husband for 32 years. Denise Burditus described herself as a college student and as semi-retired on her Facebook page.

"It saddens me to say that I lost my wife of 32 years, a mother of two, soon to be grandmother of 5 this evening in the Las Vegas Shooting. Denise passed in my arms. I LOVE YOU BABE," Tony Burditus wrote. Following that post, other friends took to Facebook to share memories of Denise, whom one friend described as "beautiful and full of life."

"Denise, you sure showed the rest of us how to live - with so much spunk and spirit, devoutly loyal to your family and extended family, because that's how you treated every one of us," a friend wrote on Facebook.

Recent Facebook posts show the couple smiling in Las Vegas, while hanging out by the pool, out to dinner, at the festival. In many, Denise Burditus is kissing her husband's cheek.

Denise Burditus posted a photo of her husband in the pool during the trip with the caption: "Having the best time in Vegas with this guy...?? him!"

On Sunday, Denise Burditus had posted that she was "already planning" for the 2018 festival.

• • •


from Shippensburg, Pa.

The wrestling and Little League coach was among the victims of the shooting, the Shippensburg Police Department confirmed in a statement Tuesday morning. Wolfe, a father of two, was at the concert with his wife, Robyn, who survived. They were separated and his condition was unknown until Tuesday; a prayer vigil was held for him at the town's Doc Norcross Stadium on Monday night.

Wolfe was the head elementary school wrestling coach in Shippensburg, said Tony Yaniello, who runs the varsity high school program. He also wrestled in high school. Wolfe was "a great family man," Yaniello said. The couple was deeply involved in wrestling, raising money for new equipment and uniforms and running tournaments. As a coach, Wolfe made sure kids had fun but also learned discipline and the rules of the sport, Yaniello said. "He's a leader, a go-getter," he said. "Kids always had his attention."

Heidi Cassner Martin had known Wolfe since high school, when they worked at the same part-time job at a local restaurant. "He was an awesome guy," Martin said. "He was just a good guy all around." Wolfe was always there to lend a hand if she was overextended, she remembered. "He was a devoted, good, caring guy, just kind," Martin said.

"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," the Shippensburg Little League said in a statement.

• • •


From Redondo Beach, California

Sandy Casey

Sandy Casey

In early April, on the last day of their 10-day vacation in New Zealand, Christopher Willemse and his girlfriend, Sandy Casey, walked down a steep hill to a lake. As she played by the water's edge, Willemse took a ring out of his pocket. When she turned around, he was down on one knee.

At the end of this month, they planned to tour the final wedding venue on their list.

Instead, after seven years as colleagues at Manhattan Beach Middle School, three years as a couple and five months engaged, Willemse held Casey on Sunday night as she died of a gunshot to her lower back at a country music festival in Las Vegas.

Willemse, 32, worked as a behavioral therapist in Casey's special-education classes. They bonded over their love of country music.

They were attending the festival with a few of Willemse's friends, huddled in front of the stage, when the gunshots rang out. They all dropped to the ground, but Casey said she'd been hit and couldn't feel her legs. Willemse stuck his finger in the wound to stop the bleeding and then carried her out, dodging the continuous gunfire.

When she stopped responding, he told her that he loved her and that she was amazing.

"She was just a kind soul and she was full of life and loved to live it," Willemse said. "She made everybody smile, she was an excellent teacher and loved the kids she taught. Everyone who meets her never forgets her."

Casey, who also loved yoga and the outdoors, was originally from Vermont, where her family still lives. Willemse said he's arranging to get her body back to her parents. She wanted to be cremated, he said, so he'll be able to keep a part of her with him.

On Facebook early Monday, Willemse wrote: "As I sit and mourn such a beautiful life gone too fast, all i can say is look up and watch the birds fly high and free today as that's where I feel you smiling down upon all of us. I love you baby girl! Love you to pieces!"

• • •


From Riverside, California

Angela Gomez

Angela Gomez

Gomez traveled from Southern California to the concert with her high school sweetheart to toast a new job as a certified nursing assistant, family friend Tyler Smith confirmed.

"She was just celebrating the music she loved," Smith said. "She was a light to everyone in her life; she was just the best kind of person, she was what the world needs."

Gomez graduated from Riverside Polytechnic High in Riverside, Calif., in 2015, the school confirmed on Facebook. A member of the school's cheer and song team, Gomez was remembered by her squad on Facebook as "having a warm heart and a loving spirit."

In a statement to the news media, the Riverside Unified School District described Gomez as "always seen with a smile on her face whenever she was on campus." She was enrolled at Riverside Community College.

Gomez's mother, when reached Monday afternoon, was on her way back to Riverside from Las Vegas. She was too distraught to talk and said she and her family needed time to grieve.

Gomez was shot three times, Smith said, once in the shoulder and twice in the arm. Her boyfriend of five years tried to carry her out of the concert venue with the help of several strangers. But Smith said that the crowds and blocked-off streets made it impossible to get Gomez to a hospital in time to save her life.

"She had a lot going for her, young and in love, with a good family," Smith said. "It's just incredibly surreal."

• • •


Jordan McIldoon

Jordan McIldoon

Jordan McIldoon, a 23-year-old mechanic from Maple Ridge, British Columbia, was among the dead, a family member said. His parents described him to CBC News in Canada as outdoorsy, about to begin trade school, and on the trip to Las Vegas with his girlfriend. They were expecting him to return home Monday evening.

"We only had one child," they told CBC News. "We just don't know what to do."

• • •


Jennifer Irvine

Jennifer Irvine

Ryan Mallinaux, a bail bondsman in San Diego, said he often spoke to Irvine on the phone about clients who needed bail but that he met her in person only once. They met in person for the first time just a month ago, before a Metallica concert for which she had been unable to get tickets.

"She was real funny, good head on her shoulders, real smart," Mallinaux said.

On her law firm's website, Irvine wrote that she recently started her own firm to be closer to her clients. Outside of work, she said, she had a black belt in tae kwon do, practiced hot yoga and was an avid snowboarder.

Kyle Kraska, the sports director for CBS News 8 in San Diego, had been friends with Irvine for 15 years.

"She was a ball of energy, she was fun, she was just full of life," he said. Irvine was always organizing people to take weekend trips to other cities, to go boating or go to a festival, he said. She was always surrounded by big groups of friends.

She went with several girlfriends to the festival in Las Vegas, Kraska said.

"They were holding hands, they were dancing, they were singing," he said. He was told that when the shots rang out the group all fell to the ground. When the other women looked around, they realized Irvine was not moving. She had been shot in the head.

Kraska, who was nearly killed in a shooting two years ago, said he took some small comfort in knowing his friend probably died instantly, without fear or pain.

"I hope that's the case," he said. "Her life ended singing and dancing and smiling."

• • •


Charleston Hartfield

Charleston Hartfield

Hartfield was a Las Vegas police officer, a member of the armed services, a father and a youth football coach, friends and family said. Those who knew him said each of those roles touched on the type of person Hartfield was.

"He was one of those guys who gives, gives, gives," said Stanley King, a friend.

Troy Rhett, who coached the Henderson Cowboys youth football team with Hartfield, sounded a similar note.

"He wasn't someone who was just here," Rhett said. "He made sure the time he spent here was valuable."

Rhett said Hartfield got into coaching football because his son was a standout athlete and is now a high school football player. Hartfield leaves behind that son, a daughter who is in elementary school and his wife, Veronica, Rhett said.

Family members said that Hartfield had just finished a book about his life as a police officer called "Memoirs of a Public Servant." He changed the banner photo on his Facebook page to an image of the Route 91 Harvest festival on Sunday, just hours before the mass shooting.

• • •


From Valleyview, Alberta

Jessica Klymchuk

Jessica Klymchuk

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, who leads the government in that Canadian province, confirmed Monday the death of one Alberta resident in the Las Vegas mass shooting. Local news outlets identified that person as Jessica Klymchuk, a single mother of four who lived in Valleyview, a town of about 2,000.

Klymchuk was in Las Vegas with her fiance, Brett Irla. The two were engaged in April, according to announcements in their Facebook timelines. On Monday, Irla posted an image of him and Klymchuk nuzzling, covered in pink hearts. Messages of condolence for Irla and Klymchuk's children quickly followed.

Irla's timeline also includes multiple messages in which Irla described Klymchuk as "the most amazing woman" and someone he was lucky to have in his life.

• • •


from Tewksbury, Massachusetts

Rhonda LeRocque

Rhonda LeRocque

LeRocque and her husband, Jason, had attended Vegas's Route 91 Harvest Festival before. This year, LeRocque's aunt said, they made a last-minute decision to go back. They brought along their 6-year-old daughter, Aliyah, and Jason's father and booked a room at the Mandalay Bay.

Now, the family is mourning a woman who "was everything to everyone," Gloria Murdock, LeRocque's aunt, said Monday evening. At a design firm in Boston, her job was to host important guests. At her home in Tewksbury, Massachusetts, she hosted family gatherings with big helpings of buffalo chicken and macaroni and cheese around her pool.

"She would make a cake and say 'Oh, it only took me 10 minutes,' " Murdock said.

LeRocque was a Jehovah's Witness and met Jason on a mission trip, her cousin Craig Marquis said. Trips became a regular part of their life together, with excursions to Hawaii scheduled every year. They hoped to move there someday.

"All day I've been posting pictures of her on my Facebook page," said her mother, Priscilla Champagne. "This is just our family's greatest loss."

• • •


From Big Sandy, Tennessee

Sonny Melton

Sonny Melton

Melton was a registered nurse at Henry County Medical Center in Paris, Tennessee. His wife, Heather Melton, is a surgeon.

When Sonny Melton and his wife, Heather Gulish Melton, heard the sound of gunshots in Las Vegas on Sunday night, he grabbed her and began to run.

"I felt him get shot in the back," Gulish Melton told WCYB, a television station in northeast Tennessee. "I want everyone to know what a kindhearted, loving man he was, but at this point, I can barely breathe."

Melton, 29, was described in Facebook tributes as a kind spirit, a registered nurse who worked for much of 2016 in the surgical unit at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital in Jackson, Tennessee.

"He was a very kind, compassionate, genuine person who lived life to the fullest, and he took great care of our patients," said Amy Garner, a spokeswoman for the hospital. Union University, a college in Jackson, Tennessee, said Melton was a 2015 graduate of the school and worked in the emergency department at Henry County Medical Center.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, a White House spokeswoman, said Melton and his wife had been married only a year and had traveled from Tennessee for the music festival.

"When the bullets began raining down from above, Sonny shielded her from danger, selflessly giving up his life to save hers," Sanders said Monday.

• • •


From Anchorage, Alaska

Ryan Kopiasz met Murfitt at a party in high school. Kopiasz's friends hadn't shown up, and Murfitt came over to talk to him so he wouldn't be alone.

"He was the thoughtful type that would see a random person at a get-together and not let them sit by themselves," Kopiasz said. "They don't make them like that anymore."

Murfitt was one of the first people to visit after Kopiasz's daughter was born, and he was always there to help someone who needed anything from a ride to a supportive phone call.

"He always had an alert up, when somebody needed him - he knew," Kopiasz said.

A high school hockey player and an outdoorsman, Murfitt was tough, Kopiasz said, but also deep and open. He wasn't afraid to talk about politics or life philosophy, always from a humane perspective.

"Adrian would engage on a very intimate, personal level," Kopiasz said.

He said Murfitt wasn't a huge music fan; he went to the festival because he wanted to be with friends after several months on a commercial fishing boat.

"The one consolation that we have is that . . . he didn't meet his end alone," Kopiasz said.

Murfitt attended the concert with his friend Brian MacKinnon. MacKinnon said in a Facebook post that Murfitt died in his arms.

• • •


from Bakersfield, California

Bailey Schweitzer

Bailey Schweitzer

Schweitzer was a receptionist at Infinity Communications and Consulting in Bakersfield, California. The company released a statement Monday mourning the loss of an employee who "was always the ray of sunshine."

"If you have ever called or visited our office, she was the perky one that helped direct you to the staff member you needed," Infinity chief executive Fred Brakeman said in the statement.

Schweitzer grew up in Bakersfield, where her father, Scott Schweitzer, owned the Bakersfield Speedway dirt track. She loved spending time there, her coworker Katelynn Cleveland said, and loved attending country music concerts. Schweitzer had seen Jon Patti, Cole Swindell, Dierks Bentley and Garth Brooks. On Friday, she drove to Las Vegas for a weekend so packed with country artists there were two stages for them to perform on. The artist she was most excited to see, Cleveland said, was Luke Combs.

He performed at 7:20 p.m. Sunday evening, but Schweitzer wasn't expected to be back at work until Tuesday. She decided to stay for the final show, a performance from Jason Aldean.

On Monday evening, her coworkers held a candlelight vigil in her honor at their offices.

• • •


Rachel Parker

Rachel Parker

Parker was a police records technician who loved her dogs and hockey and was applying to graduate schools. She worked for the Manhattan Beach (Calif.) Police Department department for 10 years, according to a news release.

Parker graduated from Colorado State University in June 2016 and was applying to graduate school, according to a post on the police department's Facebook page. "Rachael had a passion for working with older adults, and she completed her undergraduate practicum with Manhattan Beach's Older Adults Program," the department wrote. "Rachael had a love for dogs – especially her two adopted dogs, Maddie and Izzy. She enjoyed baking, country music, and LA Kings Hockey. Rachael's smile could light up a room, even on the most difficult of days."

• • •


From Valencia, California

John Phippen was a "lumberjack kind of a guy" who loved music, said his best friend. Still, it came as a surprise when the general contractor belted out Shania Twain's "Man! I Feel Like a Woman" while helping the friend renovate his bathroom.

"It was so wrong it was funny," said the friend, Thomas Polucki, a chiropractor who lives in the same Southern California town, in the Santa Clarita Valley, as Phippen.

Phippen attended the festival with his son, Travis.

Jake Diaz, 19, who with his mother is a friend of the Phippens, said family members told them that Phippen jumped on top of his son when the shooting started. "He saved his life," Diaz said.

Polucki said Travis worked as a medic and, even after being shot in the arm, treated more than a dozen of the injured.

Polucki said Phippen actually "looks like a teddy bear and acts like a sweetheart," with a calm demeanor no matter how tense a situation. "There'd be stuff where I'm screaming profanities and he's like, no problem, no worries. That's just the kind of guy he was. It took a world calamity for him to bat an eye," Polucki said.

Phippen took buggies out on the sand dunes and ran a company called J.P Specialties that advertises as an "all-purpose remodeling company" with painting, electrical, drywall, plumbing and flooring. Polucki said that he first met Phippen about 10 years ago after he had bought a "money-pit of a house."

He said Phippen helped him out. "He was the guy you wanted to have a beer with," the chiropractor said. "You wouldn't want to hang out with a celebrity or a politician. You'd want to hang out with John."

• • •


From Henderson, Nevada

Quinton Robbins

Quinton Robbins

When Robbins first clutched his chest, his girlfriend thought something was wrong with his sugar levels, she told his grandmother. They were on a date at a Jason Aldean concert. They hadn't been together for very long, but she knew he had diabetes and thought he might need his insulin. She didn't yet realize that a bullet had torn through his body.

Robbins's grandmother Gaynor Wells said Monday that he will be remembered as "just a jewel." She recounted the story of his death as she heard it through his girlfriend, who was uninjured.

He was the oldest of three children, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and a student at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, where he was considering going to dental school. An avid athlete, Robbins spent his time refereeing various recreation leagues in his home town of Henderson, Nev.

He enjoyed hunting, fishing and country music, which is why he decided to drive to Las Vegas for the concert Sunday night. His girlfriend would later tell his family about two strangers, who described themselves as a marine and a nurse, who tried to carry Robbins to a vehicle so he could get medical attention, even as gunfire was still raining down on the crowd. It would be hours before his family would find out for sure where he had been taken and that he hadn't survived.

• • •


From Gallup, New Mexico

Lisa Romero-Muniz

Lisa Romero-Muniz

Mike Hyatt, superintendent of the Gallup-McKinley County Schools, said in a statement that Romero-Muniz was "an incredibly loving and sincere friend, mentor, and advocate for students." Romero-Muniz was a discipline secretary at Miyamura High School, relatives confirmed

The wife, mother and grandmother was "outgoing, kind and considerate," Hyatt said.

Paul Romero, 57, had not seen his cousin in a couple of years, but they grew up together.

"She was a very down-to-earth person; she was a very sweet person," he said. "As far as I know, she never had an enemy in the world."

Louise Leslie's 14-year-old great-granddaughter went to the school where Romero worked. She found out in class today that the discipline secretary was dead.

"The last time she saw her was Friday after school and she gave her a hug," Leslie said.

"She was always telling my granddaughter to stay out of trouble and get somewhere and do the right thing - she was a good friend of hers."

At school Monday, her great-granddaughter told her, "everyone was crying."

• • •


from Las Vegas

Tonks, 46, was a big fan of Jason Aldean, and she attended the music festival with her boyfriend.

Her brother, Cody Davis, confirmed that Tonks was killed in the gunfire during Aldean's set. Her boyfriend was injured and treated at a hospital. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Because they were separated and he had her purse with her identification, the family was struggling to claim Tonks's body.

She was raised in Utah and moved to Las Vegas about 10 years ago, Davis said.

"She was pretty much a single mother who raised three boys," he said. "She was a great mom and a great sister and a great friend."

She was also a successful businesswoman, he said, working at the IT firm Technologent. In her free time, she loved taking her kids to the beach, Davis said, and water-skiing. When she went back to Utah, she would ski the mountains.

"She was just completely outgoing," he said.

• • •


Susan Smith

Susan Smith

Smith, the office manager at Vista Fundamental Elementary School in Simi Valley, California, was killed at the concert, said Jake Finch, a spokeswoman for the Simi Valley School District. Smith, 53, was "a big country music fan" and had been attending the concert with friends when she was shot, Finch said.

Smith had worked for the school district for 16 years, and she had served as the office manager of the elementary school for three years. She was married and the mother of young-adult children, Finch said, although she wasn't sure how many.

Finch said she was friendly with Smith, and that they would chat whenever Finch stopped by the school. "She had a great sense of humor. She was very funny. She was great with the children and with the staff. In a school this size, the office manager is really at the center, the hub. You have to be able to get along with everybody," she said, and Smith did. "She was also a parent in the school district for many years, and was very active in the PTA."

The school deployed counselors to every classroom and held a meeting with staffers on Monday, Finch said. The children are writing letters to Smith's family and drawing cards, she said.

• • •


Jenny Parks

Jenny Parks

They were high school sweethearts from suburban Los Angeles who loved country music and loved Las Vegas. Jenny and Bobby. Kindergarten teacher and solar panel salesman. Two kids. House nestled under the San Gabriel Mountains.

The couple headed to Las Vegas for the concert and to visit Jenny Parks's two brothers, who live there. Their son Bryce, who just started high school, and daughter, Leah, in middle school, stayed in Los Angeles with their grandmother.

Jenny and Bobby were somewhere in the excited crowd when the shooting started. Jenny was shot in the head, according her husband's uncle, Steven McCarthy, who lives in Los Angeles and has been in close touch with the family. McCarthy said two other relatives were at the concert but weren't with the Parkses.

"When she collapsed, Bobby thought she had fainted," said McCarthy, who is director of arts education for the Los Angeles Unified School District. "He covered her body with his to protect her. He felt the back of her head and felt the blood. She was then shot a second time in the head. The bullet went through her and hit him in the arm and finger."

Jenny died in Bobby's arms.

"Jenny was absolutely the girl that every mother wants their son to bring home," McCarthy said. "She was kind, beautiful, loving, generous, the most caring mother I have ever met. She always had a smile on face. ... Everybody was happy when Jenny showed up."

The couple had been married more than 15 years, and Jenny Parks had been preparing for a party for her husband's upcoming 40th birthday. She had recently earned a master's degree in education and was beloved at Anaverde Elementary School in Palmdale, where she taught for three years.

As a testament to Parks's classroom skills, he said that one of his former students stopped him recently. She now has her own children, and one was in Parks's class. "She told me how everybody loved her," McCarthy said.

The Westside Union School District, which oversees the school where Parks taught, said she had just entered her third year at Anaverde.

"She was always enthusiastic, energetic, committed and dedicated to her students, her colleagues and was so proud to be a teacher," Gino Rossall, the superintendent, said in a statement. "Her spirit was something to behold. The students who were instructed by her knew what it was to love learning as Jennifer gave them the sense of wonder, curiosity, and excitement about all they did."

He described the couple's marriage as a "perfect" union between two gentle, kind people. They shared a love for the Los Angeles Dodgers as much as they did for country music, naming their first apricot poodle Dodger. They were on the verge of adopting another poodle, which they planned to name Vin, after Vin Scully, the now-retired legendary broadcaster of Dodgers games.

• • •


Colorado Springs, Colorado

Christopher Roybal

Christopher Roybal

Debby Allen and her son were supposed to go together to country singer Jason Aldean's concert Sunday night, but Allen had overslept after a long day at the pool. When she woke up, she called her son, who told her that he was already on the Las Vegas Strip.

She called him again a few minutes later to tell him she was at the venue and was trying to find him. That was the last time they talked. And that long day at the pool was the last time she spent with her son, whose birthday they were celebrating that weekend.

Aldean was only a few songs in when bullets began to rain down on the crowd of more than 22,000 people. Allen and her friends ran after a woman next to her was shot. The gunfire seemed never-ending, she said, and she and her friends kept running until they reached an exit. As soon as Allen was on the street, she turned around. Her son, Roybal, was still inside.

"My son, my son is still there!" she screamed.

But the stampede of concertgoers trying to escape kept her from going back in. A stranger wearing an American flag shirt also stopped her, telling her she'd die if she went back in.

A few hours later, she got a call from one of her son's friends, a firefighter named Mike. Roybal had been shot in the chest, he told her.

"Mike said to me, 'I saw the life go out of him,' " Allen said.

Later, Allen said the county coroner confirmed to her that one of the bodies they had recovered was Roybal's. "I just fell. I was crying and screaming," she said.

Roybal, a manager at a Crunch Fitness gym in Colorado, would have turned 29 on Monday. He was Allen's first child, her "Munchkin" who later grew to be her best friend.

He was a bearded, heavily tattooed Navy veteran who loved to watch chick flicks with his mother. He cried after watching "The Notebook." It was one of his favorites, Allen said. He also loved "The Story of Us."

Before Roybal moved to Denver from California last spring, he and Allen went out to dinner and watched "Beauty and the Beast." That made him cry, too.

He also loved karaoke and Spanish ballads. Songs by Luis Miguel and Cristian Castro were his favorites.

"He'd sing these songs to his female friends, and they would just love it," Allen said.

In fact, she said, Roybal never heard a song he didn't like. But he loved country music the most.

Every morning on his way to work, Roybal would call his mother for no reason other than to talk.

"Mom, I love this song. Hang up the phone, go listen to it and call me back," he would tell Allen during one of their conversations.

Allen is still in Las Vegas, waiting for authorities to release her son's body.

The past few nights seemed just a nightmare that she wanted to wake from. More than anything else, she wants her son to call her, to tell her that he is okay, and that he's on his way to work.

• • •


From Anchorage, Alaska

Dorene Anderson was the second person from Anchorage, Alaska, confirmed 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 that organization 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 that recently disbanded and was sold to the parent company of the NHL's Philadelphia Flyers. She had been a member of the Aces' "Cowbell Crew."

Stacy Shubert, the director of governmental relations and public affairs for the corporation, told The Associated Press that the family has requested privacy.

• • •


Family photo

Family photo

Steven Berger, of Shorewood, Minnesota, traveled to Las Vegas as he had many times before with his friends, but this time they would celebrate his 44th birthday.

A fan of country music, Berger and his roommate along with four others were enjoying the Jason Aldean show near the Las Vegas strip when the rain of bullets began from the 32nd floor of a nearby hotel.

Mary Berger, 72, of Brookfield, Wisconsin, said her son's roommate called hours later to tell them Steven had been hit by gunfire and collapsed to the ground.

"He tried to go to him but they were trying to get people out of the way," Berger said. He wasn't sure where Steven wound up, she added.

"He's our only son," Berger said choking up. "It's terrible. At least now we know. Now we got busy things to do with three grandchildren."

Mary Berger described her son, a father of three, as fun-loving with a serious side and a hard worker. He played basketball in high school and college before he started his career as a financial adviser after graduating from St. Olaf College in 1995.

• • •


Associated Press

Associated Press

Their other friends had gone home, but Candice Bowers and Lisa Gentry stayed the third night of the festival just to hear Jason Aldean play. He was their favorite musician, and they squirmed their way toward the front of the crowd to see the concert up close.

The two hurdled over tables and ice chests and then took shelter from the gunfire under a table. A stranger lay on top of Gentry, 46, because there was no more room on the ground. Gentry said she asked, "Candice, is this happening right now?" Bowers replied, "Yes, Lisa, this is happening right now."

Gentry told her, "We're going to die. I love you," seconds before bullets started spraying in their direction and hitting the tarps.

Bowers was the mother of three children, ages 2, 16 and 20, and she and Gentry had been best friends for about six years. Bowers's daughter is close friends with Gentry's two daughters and even calls Gentry's husband "Dad." She had a contagious laugh, Gentry said, and always put others before herself.

• • •




When Adam Castilla received the call late Sunday, everything inside him dropped. His younger sister's boyfriend was calling from the back of a truck, where he was holding her in his arms. Ten minutes ago she'd been laughing and dancing in an Instagram video. Now she lay lifeless, shot in the head.

It was supposed to be the happiest time in the life of Andrea Castilla, of Huntington Beach, Calif. Her boyfriend was planning to propose. Her younger sister had gotten engaged in May and she would be her maid of honor.

On the weekend of the Route 91 Harvest festival, she was celebrating her 28th birthday in Las Vegas, where her sister Athena lives.

• • •


Courtesy of Leana Orsua

Courtesy of Leana Orsua

Denise Cohen was a grandmother from Carpinteria, Calif. who loved to dance to country music. She and her companion had long planned to go to the Route 91 Harvest festival, and Sunday night in Las Vegas she dressed in an American flag tank top and cowboy boots.

"My heart tells me she was dancing until the very last moment," said her closest friend, Leana Orsua. Cohen and her companion, Derrick "Bo" Taylor, were both fatally shot. Cohen has two grandchildren; Taylor has five. A photo from the festival shows them posing in front of a giant Budweiser sign, dressed in shorts and casual shirts — she wearing a baseball cap, he an American flag do-rag on his head.

"Her smile could light up a room," Orsua said of Cohen.

• • •




"Austin, my love, I can't believe this happened. You didn't deserve this," wrote Davis's girlfriend, Aubree Hennigan, when the news arrived late Monday.

Davis's grieving mother, Lori Quick, wrote on Facebook on Wednesday that the last text she and her husband received from their son, who worked as a pipefitter in Riverside, Calif., said, "I kinda want to come home, I love home." "He is coming home not in a way that any parent would want him to," Quick added. "We wanted to bring him home in our arms."

• • •


Christiana Duarte was a beautiful singer, friends said. She graduated from the University of Arizona in May and was launching a career in marketing, working as a fan-services associate for the Los Angeles Kings hockey team.

• • •




Stacee Etcheber was a hairdresser and mother of two who was separated from her husband during the chaos of the shooting. On Monday, her family and friends circulated a Facebook post pleading for information on her whereabouts and her brother-in-law, Al Etcheber, drove to Las Vegas from Northern California to help his brother search for her.

When the shooting erupted, her husband Vinnie Etcheber told his wife to run to safety as he began to help victims, the San Francisco Bay area channel reported. But after the chaos, he was unable to find her.

• • •




The trip was originally planned as a girls' weekend — but Brian Fraser decided to attend the festival in Las Vegas to celebrate a friend's birthday. He went with his wife, Stephanie; son Nick Arellano; and Arellano's wife, according to friend Todd Duncan.

Fraser, who worked in real estate and with Duncan as a business coach, called Duncan on Sunday morning to say he would be flying out to meet him at their conference in San Diego on Monday, he said. But Duncan's text message at 7:37 a.m. Monday to Fraser would go unanswered.

• • •


Keri Galvan, from Thousand Oaks, Calif., was at the concert with her husband when she was killed. She leaves behind three children — 2, 4 and 10 years old — her sister wrote on a GoFundMe page.

Justin Galvan, a former Marine who served in Iraq, stayed with his fallen wife to perform CPR as the bullets were flying, his father, Isaac Galvan, said. The couple met in or shortly after high school; they were married in Jamaica.

"She was a great mother, she really loved her kids," Isaac Galvan said. "She was just a very devoted mother to the three kids."

Galvan worked at Mastro's Steakhouse in Thousand Oaks, friends confirmed.

• • •




Just before 10:30 a.m. Monday, Nikki Torres, 36, added a photo to Facebook. The picture showed a broad-shouldered man towering above Torres's two young sons, their small hands clasped with his at either side. The caption read, "Love you."

Two days before he died, Christopher Hazencomb spent the day doing what he did best: making people happy. While in Las Vegas for the Route 91 Harvest festival, Hazencomb was staying with Nikki and Thomas Torres, whom he met more than decade ago when they worked together at a California toy store. On Saturday, he accompanied them and their two sons to a Las Vegas-area Target store. Jakob, 4, and Alphonse, 6, held tightly to "Uncle Chris" as they weaved through the store's aisles, Thomas said.

Hazencomb, who lived with his elderly mother, worked at a Walmart store. He often oversaw the self-checkout area, returned carts from the parking lot and did "anything you asked him to do," Thomas Torres said.

In addition to his love of country music, friends recalled Hazencomb as a "sports junkie" and avid fan of the Oakland Raiders and Los Angeles Angels.

• • •


Courtesy of Ryan Miller

Courtesy of Ryan Miller

Placentia, Calif. resident Nicol Kimura's group of friends had grown up together in Orange County and were still so tight-knit that their respective children considered their parents' friends to be aunts and uncles.

The group went to dinners together, celebrated holidays together and attended concerts as a group, especially country music shows. At some point a few years back, they decided to start referring to one another as "framily."

"It just so happens that Nicol was just the catalyst for that," said Ryan Miller, one of Kimura's close friends. "She was happy 99 percent of the time. You just couldn't help but laugh when she laughed, and you couldn't help but smile with her. She was the life of the party."

Kimura and the "framily" were together at the Route 91 Harvest festival when she was shot. In the minutes before, seven members of the group were dancing and goofing around as they always did - as they'd done at several concerts already this year.

• • •


It was a running joke at the office that if you needed Victor Link, of Shafter, Calif., at a weekend meeting, you better ask a year in advance. Link loved music, especially country, and he would travel all over California with his wife, Lynn, to festivals every month, said Andrew Soss, his former boss and friend. Link was always going somewhere, doing something, he said.

"He was the most genuine, stand-up guy you'll ever meet," Soss said. "He brought a smile to everyone's face."

It wasn't until after several desperate hours of calling local hospitals and the coroner - and failing to reach Lynne or his friends who had attended the festival with Link - that Link's sister, Lisa Hiestand, finally confirmed that her brother wasn't coming home.

Though she said she was struggling to find the words, Hiestand called her brother the family's rock. "He was the best of us," she said. "He always had the time, no matter what, for family and friends."

• • •


The last public photo Carly Kreibaum posted on Facebook was of herself with two friends at the Venetian Las Vegas on Sunday. The three were outside and smiling. A bullet would later strike Kreibaum, who was the mother of two children, and she would be separated from her friends, according to the Sioux City Journal. By Monday morning, people began commenting on the group photo Kreibaum posted the day before, offering prayers and asking whether she was safe. On Monday night, Sutherland Church of Christ invited people to come together to pray for Kreibaum. Tuesday morning, Chris Kreibaum posted that the family still could not locate her. Family member Sarah Rohwer confirmed Carly Kreibaum's death in a message to The Washington Post on Wednesday.

Kreibaum was from Sibley, Iowa, but lived in Sutherland, according to her Facebook page. The page also lists that she studied at Wayne State College and went to Sibley-Ocheyedan High School.

• • •


Family photo

Family photo

Rhonda LeRocque, of Tewksbury, Mass., and her husband, Jason, had attended Las Vegas' Route 91 Harvest festival before. This year, LeRocque's aunt said, they made a last-minute decision to go back. They brought along their 6-year-old daughter, Aliyah, and Jason's father and booked a room at the Mandalay Bay.

Now, the family is mourning a woman who "was everything to everyone," Gloria Murdock, LeRocque's aunt, said Monday evening. At a design firm in Boston, her job was to host important guests. At her home in Tewksbury, Mass., she hosted family gatherings with big helpings of buffalo chicken and macaroni and cheese around her pool.

"She would make a cake and say, 'Oh, it only took me 10 minutes,' " Murdock said.

• • •


Associated Press

Associated Press

Kelsey Breanne Meadows, of Taft, Calif., a substitute teacher at her former high school, was warmly remembered by Taft Union High's principal. "Kelsey was smart, compassionate and kind. She had a sweet spirit and a love for children," Principal Mary Alice Finn said in a statement. "Words cannot adequately capture the sorrow felt by her students, colleagues and friends in learning of her passing."

Since Sunday, Meadows's family held on to hope that she'd be found alive. But her older brother shared on his Facebook page Tuesday morning that she had died.

"My family and I want to take a minute and thank everyone that has been trying to help us locate my sister," he wrote. "So it is with an absolutely shattered heart that I let everyone know that Kelsey did not survive this tragic event. Please keep my family in your thoughts and prayers as we try and move past this horrible time."

• • •


Calla Medig, of Edmonton, Alberta. started waiting tables at Moxie's Grill and Bar in Edmonton two years ago. She quickly became a leader and had just been promoted to manage the restaurant at the West Edmonton Mall.

She learned of her new job before she headed to Las Vegas for the Route 91 Harvest festival, the third consecutive year she had attended the country music concert.\

Thursday would have been her first day as manager. "That girl would do anything for us," said the restaurant's general manager, Scott Collingwood. "She is leaving a very big hole for us, and in many hearts."

Though she had just two years of experience as a waitress, Medig became an instant leader of the crew in one of the busiest of the chain's locations, in a sprawling, 5.3 million-square-foot mall that has its own zoo, indoor water park and ice palace, Collingwood said.

Medig's family in Jasper, Alberta, a mountain town with about 5,000 residents 270 miles west of Edmonton, have not discussed the death publicly. Collingwood, out of respect for the family, said he would talk only about what Medig was like at work. He said Medig kept her private life to herself. "She didn't volunteer anything about her life," the general manager said.

• • •




Saving lives is what Sonny Melton, of Big Sandy, Tenn., did. So it's little surprise that when gunfire rained down on him and his wife, he grabbed her from behind and absorbed the shots in back, according to several news reports.

Melton is a registered nurse at Henry County Medical Center in Paris, Tenn. His wife, Heather Melton, is a surgeon. She survived the attack and credits her husband with saving her life.

"I want everyone to know what a kind hearted loving man he was but at this point I can barely breathe," she told USA Today.

The couple were married June 30, 2016, according to their wedding website. " 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," they wrote. They called themselves soulmates.

Melton's last Facebook post was a check-in at the Route 91 Harvest festival. That post now has close to 5,000 comments from loved ones and strangers offering condolences. His alma mater, Union University, posted a statement on its Facebook page. It quoted Christy Davis, assistant professor of nursing, who said: "You know how when you met someone and you just know that they're good and kind? That was Sonny. He just had a sweet, kind spirit about him."

• • •


Pati Mestas, from Menifee, Calif., loved Jason Aldean, so when he started performing Sunday night she left her friend Dana to move to the front of the stage. Dana made it out alive, friend Isa Bahu said. Mestas, originally from Pomona, Calif., did not. She was hospitalized in critical condition and died Tuesday.

Bahu met Mestas through an ex-girlfriend, but they quickly became close and he eventually hired her to work at his Shell store in Corona, Calif. For about a decade she ran the deli, where he said she charmed customers with creative sandwich combinations and homemade sauces.

"She was older than me, but you would never know," Bahu said. "She was always down for a good time. ... She was the life of the party. When you think 67, you think they're winding down, but there was no winding down with Pati. She was a ball of fire."

Mestas adored country music, he said, and was always going to festivals.

"She loved concerts," he said. "She was always in a great mood, always wanted to keep going."

In a Facebook post, cousin Tom Smith said Mestas was also "a true and dedicated Christian."

• • •


Austin Meyer, from Reno, Nev., was celebrating his 24th birthday and his upcoming relationship anniversary with his girlfriend on Sunday, Meyer's sister Veronica told KSBW-TV.

"Austin was a joy to be around. He always had a smile on his face … and was always making people laugh," she told the Salinas, Calif., station. "He was passionate about cars, loved sports, basketball in particular." His favorite team was the Boston Celtics.

Meyer moved to Reno from Marina, Calif., to start classes at Truckee Meadows Community College. His sister said he had dreams of opening his own auto repair shop.

Meyer previously worked at Main Event Transportation, a limousine service company in Monterey, Calif. A colleague there, Chris Elliott, wrote on Facebook: "I still can't believe you're gone. I would take your place if i could. I love you so much and thank you for always being the great person you were."

• • •


She adored country singer Eric Church. And when Carrie Parsons, from Seattle, Wash., saw him perform in Las Vegas on Friday night, she took a selfie with a friend from the audience with Church visible on the stage in the background and captioned it, "Night made!"

Less than five days later, another friend shared that photo on Church's Facebook fan page. She wanted him to know that he'd lost one of his biggest fans.

"My good friend Carrie Parsons lost her life in the route 91 harvest shooting Sunday," Carolyn Farmer wrote. "She loved your music. I think she had been to about 10 of your concerts, including when you played at tractor tavern in Seattle before you got big. Thought I should share the photo below! It was her last post. I feel peace knowing she was living life until her last moments, loving country music."

• • •




Lisa Patterson, a wife and mother of three from suburban Los Angeles, had many gifts, a longtime friend said — including her ability to speak with total candor and yet be completely kind. The combination made Patterson the North Star of her family and an essential part of her church's parish school.

Her husband, her high-school-age son and her college-student daughter converged on Las Vegas after seeing news of the shooting on TV. None of the Pattersons had been able to reach Lisa. On Sunday, they learned she was dead.

"That's why I am out here so early," Bob Patterson, Lisa's husband and partner of 30 years, told a reporter for Las Vegas's KVVU-TV on Monday morning at a growing candlelight shrine near the Las Vegas Strip's Bellagio hotel and casino. "I'm just lost without her. I don't know what to do."

The Pattersons, who live in Lomita, were frequent Las Vegas visitors. They loved the city's atmosphere, and Lisa was a "great gambler," her husband said.

She served as the school's PTA chair for much of the past 16 years and offered frank assessments of what needed to be done, Hudani said. But Patterson was also exuberant, full of a kind of infectious joy, Hudani said. She was the kind of woman Hudani sometimes jokingly begged to have another child: St. John needed Patterson, at minimum, for another decade.

• • •




Life has seemed quieter without Jordyn Rivera, of La Verne, Calif., longtime friend Jonah Hamilton said. She loved being with friends and family, he said. She even memorized the phone numbers of all her close friends in case she needed them and didn't have a working phone.

"It's quiet not getting to talk to her," said Hamilton, who talked to her almost every day. "She was so present in a lot of our lives. It's that quietness that really gets us."

Rivera, a fourth-year student at California State University at San Bernardino, recently turned 21 and traveled to the Las Vegas concert with her mother because she loved country music.

After the shooting, her mother called Hamilton, 22, to tell him Rivera had been shot and died at the scene. He didn't believe it at first. It didn't sound real.

"We're all trying to process it," Hamilton said. "We all just miss her…. she is in heaven."

The two met through church when they were younger, and Hamilton said Rivera was a Christian who loved God and the people around her.

At college, she was in the university's health-care management program and was a member of the campus chapter of a national health education honor society, her university's president, Tomás Morales, said in a statement. Morales personally knew Rivera through a summer abroad program in London.

• • •




It was supposed to be a quick weekend getaway to Las Vegas to celebrate a birthday. Rocio Guillen Rocha and her fiance, Christopher Jaksha, traveled with their two best friends to Las Vegas from Eastvale, Calif., to celebrate one of the couple's birthdays. It was something the four of them did every year.

It was the first getaway for Rocha since her youngest son, Austin, was born seven weeks ago. Rocha and Jaksha left Austin and his 17-month-old sister, Sophia, with Jaksha's mother, and the couple and their two friends headed to Las Vegas.

"They were having an excellent time. My son was sending pictures and I was sending pictures of the children back to them. We were Facebooking and Facetiming the entire time," Jaksha's mother, Donna, said. "We were glad to watch the children so they could get away."

When the shots started Sunday night, the four friends split up, with Rocha and Jaksha going one way and their friends another. As Rocha and Jaksha were running hand in hand, a bullet struck Rocha in her thigh. Rocha and Jaksha kept running as blood poured from her leg. Minutes later, the couple was found by a police officer, who tied a tourniquet around Rocha's leg. But by then, Rocha had lost too much blood, Jaksha told his mother.

Donna Jaksha said her son "is not doing well" and is wrestling with guilt along with the pain of losing his best friend and the mother of his children.

"He doesn't understand why she was shot and he wasn't," Donna Jacksha said. "He lost his life partner and now has two babies to raise on his own."

Rocha worked as a kitchen manager for California Pizza Kitchen and previously worked for Disneyland. Donna Jacksha said her son and Rocha met when the two worked together at a Chili's restaurant years ago.

• • •


Tara Roe had two kids and worked as an education assistant, her employer said. Expressing "sadness, shock and grief," John Bailey, school superintendent in the Canadian town of High River, Alberta, confirmed Roe's death in a statement Tuesday. "It has been a challenging time," he said.

She was "a beautiful soul," an aunt, Val Rodgers, told the Calgary Herald. "She was a wonderful mother, and our family is going to miss her dearly." Roe, who was attending the Route 9 Harvest festival with her husband, Zach, and other relatives, became separated from them when the gunman opened fire, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported. The others in her group were unharmed.

Friends posted on a GoFundMe page: "In a time of overwhelming emotions, sadness, and pain, the last thing the Roe/Smith families need to be worrying about is financial obligations associated with this tragic loss. He's not the kind to ask for help, but Zach would give you the shirt off his back."

• • •


Brett Schwanbeck, a grandfather of five and a retired big-rig truck driver, felt most at home in the wooded outdoors, said his fiance, Anna Orozco, who was with him at the Las Vegas country music festival. "He was a fun-loving, hard-living man," she said. "He enjoyed life, and he'd help out anyone who needed help. … He was such a big, important part of my life."

Orozco, 50, said she had attended the annual festival several times, but not with Schwanbeck. "We'd do outdoor things together. We'd go to the woods, we'd ride ATVs, we'd go fishing, we'd stay at the lake. That's the kind of thing he loved to do – the concert wasn't something he'd ever done before."

Both grew up in the small Arizona town of Ash Fork, and Orozco had known him since her childhood. They went their own ways as adults. Schwanbeck married, had two sons and eventually divorced, Orozco said. Then, not long ago, she and her longtime friend became a couple. Their wedding was scheduled for January.

Orozco said that shortly before the rifle fire began, Schwanbeck had wanted to leave the concert but that she persuaded him to stay.

• • •


Family Photo

Family Photo

When a gunman fired bullets into the crowd, Corey Shipp, 23, wasn't with his mother, Laura, a Las Vegas resident, who had gone to the bathroom. Shipp searched for her after the shooting, posting on Facebook to thank all the friends who helped make calls to hospitals and sat at the convention center with him. As of 1:36 a.m. Tuesday, she was still unaccounted for.

"May I ask you please please please keep my mother in your prayers for a little longer I would very much appreciate greatly thank you all," Corey wrote on Facebook.

The family was "incredibly distraught," Laura Shipp's brother Steve said, but they held out hope that the happy Dodgers fan they all loved would be found soon.

About 12 hours later, Laura Shipp's niece Paris let friends know that she died in the mass shooting.

"Those of you who know Laura can attest to her huge heart and contagious free spirit," Paris Shipp wrote in a Facebook post. "We ask that you all remember her that way, just as we will. And, as always… GO DODGERS!"


This site no longer supports your current browser. Please use a modern and up-to-date browser version for the best experience.

Chrome Firefox Safari Edge