He ‘saved my life and lost his:’ Las Vegas shooting victims identified
A registered nurse from Tennessee who died shielding his wife, a doctor, from gunfire. The only son of a Canadian couple who is now left childless. A popular secretary at a New Mexico High School.
All were among the at least 59 people killed in the mass shooting at a country music festival in Las Vegas.
Details began to emerge Monday about some of those slain and the hundreds more who were injured after a gunman opened fire on festivalgoers.
Commercial fisherman Adrian Murfitt, 35, of Anchorage, Alaska, was also among the slain, a family member said Monday.
His sister, Shannon Gothard, said the family heard from one of Murfitt’s friends who was with him when he died, though they haven’t received official confirmation about his death.
Asked if the family was holding out hope that he made it after all, she said, “No. No.”
Gothard described her brother as a man with a hearty laugh, a former competitive hockey player who still dabbled in the game.
Her brother “was happy to pay some things off and had made some really good money and decided to go out and celebrate and go to the concert and treat himself to something nice and fun,” she said.
While the sun was still shining Sunday at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas, Denise Burditus posted a photo on Facebook of herself and her husband standing in front of the stage, smiling broadly.
Later, after news of the massacre spread, a friend asked simply: “Are you two ok????”
Burditus never replied.
The Martinsburg, West Virginia, woman was among dozens of people killed when a gunman opened fire from a hotel overlooking the festival. MetroNews, a West Virginia-based radio network, reported that Tony Burditus wrote on his Facebook page that his wife was among the victims.
“It saddens me to say that I lost my wife of 32 years, a mother of two, soon to be grandmother of five this evening in the Las Vegas shooting,” Tony Burditus wrote. “Denise passed in my arms. I LOVE YOU BABE.”
Sonny Melton, a registered nurse, died in the shooting, according to The Henry County Medical Center in Paris, Tennessee, where he worked.
His wife, Dr. Heather Melton, an orthopedic surgeon who was with him when shots were fired, survived, the medical center said.
Heather Melton told WZTV in Nashville, Tennessee that her husband “saved my life and lost his.” She says her husband was the most kind-hearted, loving man she ever met.
Friend Jeremy Butler told the Paris (Tennessee) Post-Intelligencer that Melton was shielding Heather Melton from gunfire when he was fatally shot.
Danae Gibbs has always been a huge fan of country music concerts, said her friend, Jennifer Draper of Cedar Park, Texas, and she was thrilled to be at the concert.
Draper wrote in an email to The Associated Press that Gibbs, 23, who recently graduated from Texas Tech University of Lubbock, is recovering.
Draper started a GoFundMe page to help Gibbs and her family with the medical expenses. On the page is a photo of Gibbs wearing a graduation cap and red Converse sneakers, jumping in the air with a huge smile in front of her university.
Officer Michael Gracia
A four-year veteran of the Ontario, California police department was shot in the head during Sunday’s shooting, Ontario Police Sgt. Jeff Higbee said.
Officer Michael Gracia was injured, as was his girlfriend.
“He’s always real personable, upbeat, a real friendly guy,” Higbee said.
Real estate agent and father of three older children Rob McIntosh, 52, of North Pole, Alaska, was near the front of the stage with friends when the shooting began, according to friend and real estate broker Mike Vansickle. He was hit repeatedly but survived, Vansickle said.
“From just getting off the phone with the family, he took three bullets to his body,” said Vansickle. “He just came out of surgery, and he’s going to make it.”
In a personal note on his real estate website, McIntosh describes himself as enjoying the outdoors in Alaska, where he also operates a business called Santa’s Fireworks.
“Whether I’m fishing, snow machining, hunting, steel welding or building my own home or cabin; I stay active all year round,” McIntosh wrote.
Vansickle described McIntosh as being strong.
“He’s been though lots of adversity,” said Vansickle. “He’ll get through all this and come out with some stories to tell.”
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.
District officials confirmed to reporters on Monday that Romero, 48, died sometime after a 64-year-old man fired multiple weapons.
“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.”
Survivors included Romero-Muniz’s husband, children and grandchildren, Hyatt said. Officials announced a candlelight vigil in honor of Romero-Muniz set for Monday night.
Susan Smith, 53, a resident of Simi Valley, California, near Los Angeles, had worked for the local school district since 2001 as the office manager at Vista Elementary School.
“Susan was wonderful with the kids and the staff and was an integral part of the school community here,” said Jake Finch, the public information officer for the district. “She was the hub of everything that happened at the school. If a kid is sick, she’s the one calling the parents and no matter how chaotic things got here, she was always smiling.”
Finch said the school district learned about Smith’s death from friends who had been with her at the music festival. She said when teachers and other staff members in the district and at the school arrived early Monday morning, most of them had not yet heard that Smith was among those who were killed.
She said counselors were dispatched to the school to talk to both staff members and students and when students were told, they took part in activities such as writing letters and making cards for Smith.
“It doesn’t sound like much but it gives kids something to latch on to, to make sure they felt like they were able to help in some way,” she said.
She said Smith was married with two adult children, adding that Smith’s love for country music was well-known.
Rachael Parker, a police records technician, was shot and ultimately died in the hospital, the Manhattan Beach Police Department said.
Parker was among four department employees who were attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival while off-duty. Another suffered minor injuries.
“She was employed with the Manhattan Beach Police Department for 10 years and will be greatly missed,” the department said in a statement.
Nick Robone, an assistant hockey coach at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, was shot in the chest, the school said.
The Rebels men’s ice hockey team said in a statement Monday that Robone had surgery to remove a bullet.
General Manager Zee Khan says Robone is breathing with help from a ventilator and is in stable condition.
The team says the bullet missed Robone’s lung, and he is expected to fully recover. The team says he will be hospitalized “for the near future.”
Jessica Klymchuk abnd Jordan McIldoon
Two Canadians, a mother of four and a man just days away from his 24th birthday, were among dozens of people killed in Las Vegas when a gunman opened fire from a 32nd- floor hotel room on a large crowd gathered across the road at an outdoor country music festival Sunday night.
Jessica Klymchuk, of Valleyview, Alberta and Jordan McIldoon, 23, of Maple Ridge, British Columbia, were those who died Sunday night in Las Vegas.
Klymchuk, 28, was an educational assistant, librarian and bus driver for St. Stephen’s School, said the Holy Family Catholic Regional Division.
“The scope of this tragedy is worldwide and we are feeling its impact here at home,” the division’s superintendent, Betty Turpin, said in a statement.
A post on Klymchuk’s Facebook page says she got engaged in April, and was in Vegas with her fiance.
British Columbia Premier John Horgan said in a statement Tuesday Jordan Mclldoon, a 23-year-old mechanic’s apprentice from Maple, Ridge, British Columbia was among those killed.
“We only had one child,” Al and Angela McIldoon, told the CBC. “We just don’t know what to do.”
Horgan offered condolences and says flags will be dropped to half-mast on the province’s Parliament buildings and on government buildings in Maple Ridge.
Sandy Casey, a middle school special education teacher from Manhattan Beach, California, was killed in Sunday night’s attack, the school district said.
“This is unbelievably tragic and sad,” Mike Matthews, superintendent of the Manhattan Beach School District, wrote in a Monday morning letter to the district. “This loss is impacting many of our staff members deeply.”
Casey is a 2004 alumna of the College of St. Joseph in Rutland, Vermont, according to a Facebook post in the college’s alumni page.
Kristin Babik, a law student at the University of Florida in Las Vegas for an internship at the Clark County district attorney’s office, suffered broken ribs and a collapsed lung in the shooting, the school said.
“Kristin is on bed rest for now,” an email from the law school’s dean said. “We look forward to welcoming her back to Gainesville as soon as she recovers.”
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