American Digital News Honors the Victims of the Las Vegas Tragedy
**********************PORTRAITS OF THE VICTIMS**********************
LAS VEGAS SLAIN VICTIMS –PRAYERS FOR THEIR FAMILIES AND FRIENDS.
At least 59 people were killed and 527 injured after shooting at Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada
‘He saved my life. He grabbed me and started running when I felt him get shot in the back,’ she told WSMV. ‘I want everyone to know what a kind-hearted, loving man he was, but at this point, I can barely breathe.’
Heather Melton (left) said her husband Sonny (right) saved her life as gunfire rang out at the Route 91 Harvest Festival on Sunday. . The two are pictured showing off their festival passes.
Jordan McIldoon, 23, of British Columbia, Canada, a mechanic’s apprentice and about to start trade school, was at the festival with his girlfriend when he was shot dead.
He was the only child of Al and Angela McIldoon, according to CBC News. “We only had one child,” they told the site. “We just don’t know what to do.”
McIldoon died in the arms of Las Vegas bartender Heather Gooze, according to CBC News. She told the site that she stayed with him for more than five hours, and spoke with his mother and girlfriend.
“I wouldn’t want anybody to leave,” Gooze told CBC News. “You know, I couldn’t just leave him by himself.”
Quinton Robbins, 20, of Henderson, Nevada, worked for the City. He took his girlfriend on a date to the music festival, and when he began clutching his chest, she thought that Robbins — a diabetic — had low blood sugar levels, The Washington Post reported.
She didn’t realize he’d been struck in the chest, Robbins’ grandmother, Gaynor Wells, told the paper.
Robbins was the oldest of three and a student at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
He was “just a jewel,” Robbins said, according to the Post.
Jenny Parks, was a mother-of-two and kindergarten teacher for the Lancaster School District in CA (husband was also shot by the shooter but survived).
Jenny Parks (pictured with her husband Bobby) was described by her family as a ‘sweet woman… and a good mother’
Susan Smith, 53, an elementary school office manager and district fixture for the Simi Valley Unified School District since 2001 were also killed.
She was someone who never missed a dance recital and always had a smile on her face.
“It’s numbing,” a family friend Suzanne Smith, told NBC Los Angeles. “It doesn’t seem real.”
Smith’s death was confirmed by Simi Valley School District spokeswoman Jake Finch, who told The Washington Post she’d been at the festival with friends when she was killed.
Photo courtesy of Cornerstone Photography
Denise Salmon Burditus, 50, of Martinsburg, WV reportedly died in her husband of 32 years, Tony Burditus’ arms just minutes after posting a picture of themselves at the festival. Burditus, a semi-retired grandmother and mom of two, according to Facebook, regularly posted loving posts about her husband Tony – her high school sweetheart from Hedgesville High School. The couple had moved around a lot, according to friends, but had recently returned to Martinsburg to settle down.
Her friend Jeanette McNally said she was in ‘complete shock and grief’ at her loss. ‘Beautiful Denise Salmon Burditus life was taken during the attack on Las Vegas,’ she wrote. ‘What a loss.
‘I’m just praying for comfort for their shattered hearts. Her family…Her adoring husband…Her beautiful children and grandbabies…Her friends whom she loved like family.
Jessica Klymchuk, 28, of Alberta, Canada, was a mother of four and worked as a librarian, bus driver and educational assistant at a Roman Catholic elementary school, St. Stephen’s.
Klymchuck was in Las Vegas with her fiancé at the time of the shooting, according to The Globe and Mail. Her children remained at home.
“She was a very good mother,” Margaret Klymchuk, her grandmother, told The Globe and Mail. “She raised four beautiful children.”
Adrian Murfitt, a 35-year-old commercial fisherman, had traveled to Nevada from his home in Anchorage, Alaska, after a successful season on the water, The Associated Press reported.
Murfitt “was happy to pay some things off and had made some really good money,” his sister, Shannon Gothard, told the AP. He “decided to go out and celebrate and go to the concert and treat himself to something nice and fun.”
Gothard told the AP that her family spoke with a friend who was with her brother when he died.
John Phippen, 56, was a New York native who moved to Santa Clarita, California, where he operated a home remodeling company called JP Specialties. (son was also shot, died Monday morning)
He attended the concert with his son Travis, according to The Los Angeles Times.
“He was my best friend,” Travis told the Times. “He never did anything wrong to anybody. He was always kind and gentle. He was the biggest teddy bear I knew.”
Travis, who was shot in the arm, drove his father to Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center where he later died.
Rhonda LeRocque, 41, an “amazing” mother and a minister’s wife from Tewksbury, MA
“We’ve lost a gem,” her mother, Priscilla Champagne, told the station Monday.
“She didn’t deserve this, her family doesn’t deserve this,” said Jennifer Zeleneski, LeRocque’s half-sister. “She was an amazing person, a great mom, great wife. She always had something nice to say when you needed it.”
She had been at the concert with her six-year-old daughter, father-in-law and husband of 20 years, Jason. Her father-in-law had just taken LeRocque’s daughter home when the gunfire began.
LeRocque died instantly after being shot in the back of the head.
Her devastated family told Boston 25 News that she was a country music lover, who loved her family and dreamed of owning her own company one day. She was ‘close to perfection as you can get,’ they said.
Rhonda LeRocque is pictured with her minister husband Jason and their daughter. Her daughter was taken away from the music festival by her father-in-law just minutes before the gunman opened fire
Dana Gardner, a Deputy Recorder and longtime employee at the San Bernardino County Clerk’s office, was described as a ‘dedicated public servant’ and ‘a great employee,’ by County Clerk Bob Dutton.
She died after being shot twice at the concert, once in the arm and another in the chest, The Sun reported.
‘Everybody here is still in shock. They’re waiting for (Gardner) to walk through the door,’ Dutton said.
Jack Beaton, of Bakersfield, CA., was identified as the 26th victim killed in the shooting on Sunday. He and his wife, Laurie (pictured), attended the Route 91 Harvest Festival together. Beaton was in Vegas with his wife celebrating their 23rd wedding anniversary.
Beaton, a father of two, was killed while shielding his wife from the gunfire, his son Jake Beaton wrote on social media. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., confirmed his death on Tuesday.
“He put Laurie on the ground and covered her with his body and he got shot I don’t know how many times,” Beaton’s father-in-law Jerry Cook told The Telegraph.
“Laurie was saying he was bleeding through the mouth, bleeding profusely, she knew he was dying. He told her he loved her. Laurie could tell he was slipping.
She told him she loved him and she would see him in heaven.”
Before he died, the elder Beaton posted a photo of himself with a group of smiling, jovial friends at the concert.
This was the last photo Beaton posted of his family and friends during their third day attending the music festival
Bailey Schweitzer, 20, of Bakersfield, California, was a former high school cheerleader and worked as a receptionist at Infinity Communications, according to The Bakersfield Californian.
Colleagues said that Schweitzer was enjoying Las Vegas so much that she planned to return for her 21st birthday in April.
Schweitzer’s brother and father confirmed her death to the newspaper.
Co-workers left a single candle at the avid country music fan’s desk after learning of her death, the paper reported.
Angie Gomez, 20, a 2015 graduate of Riverside Polytechnic High School PTSA in Riverside, CA , had just gotten a job as a certified nursing assistant, and was attending the festival to celebrate. Citing a family friend, the paper reported that she was shot three times — once in the shoulder and twice in the arm. She died before her longtime boyfriend could get her to a hospital.
School officials in Riverside, California, described her on Monday as a determined but convivial student who loved theater and choir. “We are shaken and saddened by this news,” the district said in a statement. “Angie was a loyal friend who loved her family and will be forever missed by all who knew her.”
Lisa Romero-Muniz, secretary at Miyamura High School in Gallup, NM
Mike Hyatt, the Gallup-McKinley County schools superintendent, confirmed during a news conference Monday that Romero Muniz died Sunday night.
Romero Muniz had worked in the district since 2003, and was most recently a discipline secretary at Miyamura High School in Gallup, New Mexico.
Hyatt called her “an incredible, loving and sincere friend, mentor and advocate for our students.”
“She was outgoing, kind and considerate,” he said. “We will miss all these attributes that she brought and shared.”
While Gallup School District confirmed that Romero, a secretary at Miyamura High School, in New Mexico, was also among the dead. Superintendent Mike Hyatt sent out an email to district staffers, saying ‘our prayers go out to her family during this tragic time.’
Charleston “Chuck” Hartfield, 34, was an off-duty Las Vegas police officer, military veteran and youth football coach, who recently wrote a book titled, “Memoirs of a Public Servant.”
Hartfield, 34, was a Sergeant First Class with the Nevada Army National Guard and was a soldier in the 100th Quartermaster Company headquartered in Las Vegas.
The Las Vegas Review–Journal reported that Hartfield was a Las Vegas police officer who was off-duty at the time of the shooting. He was also the author of “Memoirs of a Public Servant,” published earlier this year. The book details Hartfield’s career as a police officer in Las Vegas, and says he worked in law enforcement for 11 years and active military duty for 16 years.
It also says Hartfield is a husband and father.
Charleston Hartfield, Las Vegas Municipal Police Department officer – 34 years old, a military veteran who coached youth football. Officer Hartfield was attending concert while off duty.
Melissa Ramirez, who was a graduate of California State University at Bakersfield,
Sandy Casey, 35, worked as a special education teacher at Manhattan Beach Middle School who’d worked for the city’s unified school district for nine years, NBC Los Angeles reported.
A country music lover, she’d gone to the festival with her fiancé and some friends, and they’d been near the stage when she was shot in her lower back, according to The Washington Post.
Her boyfriend tried carrying her to safety — dodging gunfire along the way — though eventually she stopped breathing, the Post reported.
“This is unbelievably sad and tragic,” said the district superintendent, Mike Matthews, according NBC Los Angeles. “We lost a spectacular teacher who devoted her life to helping some of our most needy students.”
Neysa Tonks, 46, of Utah who moved to Las Vegas 10 years ago; a single mother who raised three boys and worked at the IT firm Technologent was identified by family members
* Rachael, 33, was with fellow off-duty officers when Paddock opened fire, she later died at the hospital
Parker was a records technician with a decade-long career at the Manhattan Beach Police Department, in Los Angeles. She’d gone to Las Vegas with a colleague, a department spokeswoman said. The colleague — an officer with the department who was not identified — was shot but survived, said the spokeswoman, Kristie Colombo.
Parker, 33, “will be greatly missed,” Colombo said.
Debby Allen went to the music festival with her son, Christopher Roybal, a 29-year-old military veteran who served in Afghanistan. But they got there at different times. When Allen texted Roybal, asking for his location, she never heard back.
And when the gunfire began, they were on opposite sides of the stage, Allen said. “I was trying to run towards wherever I thought he might be,” she said. “This man wouldn’t let me — he kept pulling me away saying, ‘You can’t run towards the gunfire.'”
Allen later found a firefighter who’d been walking behind her son when he was hit. “He told me my son was shot in the chest — that he said, ‘I was hit, I’m hit’,” Allen said. “They all bent down when the gunfire began, and my son just fell back.”
Thomas Day Jr, 54, was a home builder and country music fan, father of four adult children (attending concert with him) and grandfather of two. He moved to Las Vegas three years ago after having raised a family in Corona, California.
Day was described as a “great family man” and a “fun-loving boy” by his father, Thomas Day Sr.
The elder Day said he learned of his son’s death when he got a frantic phone call from his grandchildren.
“They were standing right there, and they said he and another young man there both took a bullet in the head,” he told The Associated Press. “Everybody started running for cover, and the guy kept shooting.”
Jennifer Irvine, a family law and criminal defense lawyer from San Diego attorney was also identified as one the victims killed in the shooting by her friends on Monday.
Irvine was a graduate of University of San Diego and California Western School of Law, according to her LinkedIn page.
She became a family law attorney and opened her own practice.
Von Tillow was memorialized at the local country club on Monday, and relatives and friends led a procession of golf carts to his home.
There, an American flag was attached to a fence and bouquets of flowers were strewn across the grass.
Carrie Barnette, a Pacifica High School graduateBarnette, 30, was a longtime Disneyland worker who’d gone to Las Vegas to celebrate a friend’s birthday, The Los Angeles Times reported.
“She was always generous and helping everybody in every way,” her mother, Mavis Barnette, told the paper. “She loved her nieces and nephews and her sister and brother.”
“A senseless, horrific, act, and a terrible loss for so many,” he wrote. “We mourn a wonderful member of the Disney family: Carrie Barnette. Tragic.”
Ahlers, 34, got married at 17 and was the mother of three children, according to The Washington Post. She lived in Beaumont, California, and was a fan of four-wheeling and watching her daughter play volleyball, The Post reported.
Her brother, Lance Miller, confirmed her death to The Post.
Ahlers was struck in the head with a bullet at the music festival, Miller said.
Bill Wolfe Jr., Shippensburg Police Department in Pennsylvania confirmed the wrestling coach’s death in a Facebook post on Tuesday.
“It is with the most of broken hearts, the families of Bill Wolfe Jr. and his wife, Robyn, share that Bill has been confirmed to be among the deceased as a result of the mass attack in Las Vegas,” the police statement read.
Wolfe and his wife were celebrating their wedding anniversary, according to PennLive.com.
A GoFundMe page created by Shippensburg Wrestling had raised more than $8,500 for his family as of Tuesday morning.
Victor Link, a loan processor from San Clemente, California, was confirmed among the dead by Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and a nephew Vincent Link.
Victor Link was the father of a 23-year-old son and a music lover, his nephew told The Bakersfield California. He attended the music festival with his fiancée, Lynn Gonzales.
“It doesn’t feel real,” Vincent Link said. “It’s hard to grasp that he’s gone.”
Michael Anderson, Father-of-one, was also another victim of the shooting late Monday night
Contributing Memorial Sources: