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 some who died:

Bill Wolfe Jr.

BILL WOLFE, Pennsylvania

Members of the Shippensburg Greyhound Wrestling team in southern Pennsylvania are raising money to help the family of coach Bill Wolfe, who is among the dead in Las Vegas.

A gofundme page established to accept donations for Wolfe’s family quickly exceeded its goal of $10,000 after being shared hundreds of times on social media, and team booster club said it also was accepting checks to help with family with unexpected expenses.

Wolfe initially was listed as missing Monday until his death later was confirmed.

As an engineer, Wolfe spent several years working on major projects for a central Pennsylvania engineering firm. There, a colleague remembered him as being personable, easy to work with and a devoted Christian. Company owner Carl Bert said Wolfe was a close friend and “a class act in every way.”

The Chambersburg Public Opinion reported that Wolfe and his wife, Robyn, were celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary in Las Vegas.

CHRISTOPHER ROYBAL, 28, Colorado Springs

Christopher Christopher Roybal, seen with his wife, Dixie Roybal.

Roybal was described as jovial and fun-loving, despite experiencing intense combat during four tours in the Middle East.

He worked at Crunch Fitness gyms in California before moving to Colorado Springs at the beginning of the year to help open franchises there.

David Harman founded the company that owns the gym where Roybal worked. He says Roybal served in Afghanistan and was coping with the loss of a friend who was killed by an improvised explosive device. Roybal adopted his friend’s bomb-sniffing dog but was devastated when she died.

Roybal wrote this summer on Facebook about being shot at, a “nightmare” he said no amount of drugs, therapy or talking could help him escape.

DENISE BURDITUS, 50, Martinsburg, West Virginia

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.

Denise Burditus

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.

TARA ROE SMITH, 34, of Alberta, Canada

Smith went to Las Vegas with her husband, Zach, for a weekend getaway.

Her aunt, Val Rodgers, said Smith was among those who died in the music festival shooting in Las Vegas.

“She was a beautiful soul. She was a wonderful mother and our family is going to miss her dearly,” Rodgers said Tuesday.

Smith, the mother of two young boys, lived in Okotoks.


Heather Warino Alvarado

Alvarado made the three-hour drive from her southern Utah home to Las Vegas to get away for the weekend and take her daughter to a country music festival.

Her daughter was unharmed in the Sunday night shooting, but the 35-year-old Warino Alvarado was killed.

Friends and family received confirmation she had died Monday night from Las Vegas police, according to a news release Tuesday from the Cedar City Fire Department, where her husband was a firefighter.

Warino Alvarado ran an in-home day care center in Cedar City, Utah, and was a devoted wife and mother of three children who was always willing to help others, said longtime friend Megan Jackson Gadd.

“She has made huge impacts on those around her with even the smallest gestures,” Jackson Gadd said in a Facebook messenger conversation. “A person like her will never be replaced or forgotten and will be missed dearly every day for the rest of our lives.”

The daughter, whose age and identity is being kept private to protect her privacy, is physically OK, she said.

Sandy Casey

SANDY CASEY, 35, Redondo Beach, California

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!”

Tom Day Jr., second from left, with his family at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas.

THOMAS DAY JR., 54, Coronoa California

Day, 54, of Corona, California, was a big country music fan, so there was no doubt he’d go to the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas, and that he’d take his whole family with him.

“He was just a fun-loving boy, a great family man who loved to spend time with his family,” said Thomas Day Sr. who spoke on the phone, surrounded by his son’s four grown children at his Las Vegas area home.

The elder Day, who lives near Las Vegas, said he was at home Sunday night when he received a frantic telephone call from his grandson and a granddaughter.

“They were standing right there and they said he and another young man there both took a bullet in the head,” said Day, 75. “Everybody started running for cover and the guy kept shooting.”

Day said none of his grandchildren were struck by bullets, but his son was. A friend rushed Thomas Day Jr. to a hospital but there was nothing doctors could do.

Struggling to speak, Day said his son loved his three daughters and son and his two grandchildren. The whole group jumped at the chance to drive to Las Vegas for the show.

“We always had fun together,” he said.

Stacee Etcheber

STACEE ETCHEBER, 50, Novato, California

Stacee Etcheber was listed as missing for hours before her family found got the worst possible news: The mother of two was dead.

At the concert, her husband told her to hide, then to run, as he helped a concertgoer next to him who had been shot, said Al Etcheber, her brother-in-law.

Her husband, Vincent Etcheber, is a San Francisco police officer, and his training kicked in immediately when shots rang out, Al Etcheber said.

He told Stacee and the couple’s three friends to protect themselves behind a nearby barrier. Then he told them to run, just before the second round of shots rang out, Al Etcheber said.

He has not heard from Stacee since, and she was not carrying an ID.

“It’s been a grueling 15 hours with no information,” Al Etcheber said Monday. On Tuesday morning, he posted on Facebook that the worst fears had been realized — she was dead.

Stacee, 50, worked as a hairdresser. Al Etcheber called her a loving wife and great mother who was “tough as nails and just the salt of the earth.”

HANNAH AHLERS, 34, Beaumont, California

Hannah Ahlers

Hannah Ahlers’ life was wrapped up in her family, her brother Lance Miller said. She was the mother of three kids, ages 3, 11 and 14, and married her husband, Brian Ahlers, when she was 17 years old. 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 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.”

CARRIE BARNETTE, 34, California

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.”

Angie Gomez

ANGIE GOMEZ, 20, Riverside, California

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.”

STEVEN BERGER, 44, Shorewood, Minnesota

Berger went to Las Vegas as he had many times before with his friends, this time to celebrate his 44th birthday.

Steven Berger

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.

Steven’s father, Richard Berger, said the family was notified by the coroner’s office in Las Vegas on Tuesday afternoon that he had died.

“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.

JACK BEATON, 54, Bakersfield, California

Jack Beaton

Laurie Beaton was at the festival with her husband, Jack, celebrating their 23rd wedding anniversary when they heard what sounded like firecrackers. Like everyone around her, she was looking around to see who was lighting them when she felt something like air rush past her arm.

“I’ve never experienced gunshots but when I felt air go right past my arm I told my husband, ‘I don’t think that’s fireworks,'” she said in a telephone interview from her home.

“He told me, ‘Get down, get down, get down,'” and put his own body on top of hers for protection, she said. “He told me, ‘I love you, Laurie’ and his arms were around me and his body just went heavy on me.”

Suddenly, she knew her husband had been shot. “I screamed his name and he wasn’t answering me, there was a lot of blood,” she said.

Another man, someone who told her he was a nurse and an EMT, ran up and told her to put her husband on his side. Helping, she saw blood and heard her husband struggling to breathe.

As quickly as the shooting stopped it started again and now, with lights on, the man told one of the husband’s friends who attended the festival with them to take the women to safety.

“So we ran,” she said.

Later, friends told Laurie Beaton wasn’t on the ground anymore. “He had been moved so we were optimistic that he’d received help,’ she said.

Calls to hospitals in search of Jack Beaton turned up nothing. Eventually she called the coroner’s office, which said her husband was among the dead.

On Tuesday morning she was back home, trying both to comfort a 20-year-old son and an 18-year-old daughter who had just lost their father and be comforted by them.

Beaton said her husband, a construction worker, wouldn’t want much said publicly about his death. But she wanted people to hear how he had protected her, just as he always had done.

“I knew every day that he would protect me and take care of me and love me unconditionally, and what he did is no surprise to me, and he is my hero,” she said.

DANA GARDNER, 52, Grand Terrace, California

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.”


Jordan McIldoon

Heather Gooze, who was bartending at the House of Blues bar on the festival grounds, held Mcildoon in her arms as he died. She called his mother, she told CNN, and promised not to leave McIldoon’s side “until this is over.” His mother told Gooze about his tattoos and his childhood nickname, Blimpy

Gooze also talked to McIldoon’s girlfriend, Amber Bereza, who had made it out of the festival alive, she told Maclean’s magazine.

“‘He’s the love of my life. Are you sure?'” she said Bereza asked. “I said, ‘Yes. He’s gone.'”

McIldoon’s parents told the CBC their son, a mechanic a month shy of his 24th birthday, was their only child.

“We just don’t know what to do,” they said.

JENNY PARKS, Lancaster, California

Jenny Parks

They were high school sweethearts from suburban Los Angeles who loved country music and loved 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 Parks.

“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.

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 Dodger games.

MICHELLE VO, 32, Los Angeles

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 everyday 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 made at the festival, bragging about how beautiful they are. “She had such a bubbly energetic personality,” Robertson said. “Truly a beautiful person.”

CAMERON ROBINSON, 27, St. George, Utah

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, he told Robinson’s family. 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, Tex. 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?

U.S. Army National Guard Sgt. 1st Class 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.


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.”

Jessica Klymchuk

JESSICA KLYMCHUK, Valleyview, Alberta

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.

RHONDA LEROCQUE, 42, Tewksbury, Massachusetts

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.”

This undated photo provided by Avonna Murfitt shows her son, Adrian Murfitt, of Anchorage, Alaska, who was one of the people killed when a gunman opened fire at a country music festival in Las Vegas on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017.

Adrian Murfitt

ADRIAN MURFITT, 35, 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.

Rachael Parker


The Manhattan Beach, California, police department confirmed that Parker, a police records technician, died in the hospital after being shot Sunday night. She worked for the Southern California department for 10 years, according to a news release.

JOHN PHIPPEN, 57, Santa Clarita, California

John Phippen

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 are friends 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.”

Quinton Robbins

QUINTON ROBBINS, 20, Henderson, Nevada

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.

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.”


Melissa Ramirez

Maribel Ramirez had 30 minutes to go on her shift as a receptionist in Fontana, California, and decided to log onto Facebook. That’s how she learned that her cousin Melissa Ramirez had been at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas.

That was about 4:30 p.m. Monday. No one could find Melissa in the confusion and chaos that followed the shootings.

“Nothing was confirmed, and we still had hope that she was alive,” Maribel Ramirez told The Associated Press Tuesday.

Melissa’s parents and siblings hurried to Las Vegas from Littlerock, California, after getting word of the shootings.

“They searched Monday … searched everywhere,” said another cousin, Fabiola Farnetti, 34, of Palmdale, California.

Around 5 a.m. Tuesday, Melissa’s parents positively identified her body.

Farnetti said Melissa had been posting photos from the festival on Instagram and Snapchat. The 2015 graduate of California State University, Bakersfield, Melissa Ramirez worked as a member specialist for an auto insurance company.

“I’m sure she liked country music. I know she was really into music, period,” Farnetti said. “I never once saw her in a bad mood or upset about anything. She was always positive. Her smile would just brighten up everyone’s day.”

Sonny Melton

SONNY MELTON, Big Sandy, Tennessee

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

KELSEY MEADOWS, 28, Taft, California

Meadows loved children so she returned to her small hometown, in the eastern part of California, to teach at her alma mater, Taft Union High School, after earning her degree. Meadows was a regular substitute teacher at the school.

“Kelsey was smart, compassionate and kind. She had a sweet spirit and a love for children,” Taft Union High School 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.”

Kelsey Meadows

The school district said grief counselors were being made available to students and staff to “assist in coping with the incomprehensible loss.”

Her brother, Brad Meadows, posted on his Facebook page that his sister had not been heard from since going to the music festival in Las Vegas. The California firefighter thanked everyone for helping them try to find her.

“So it is with an absolutely shattered heart that I let everyone know that Kelsey did not survive this tragic event,” Meadows posted Tuesday. “Please keep my family in your thoughts and prayers as we try and move past this horrible time.”

LISA ROMERO-MUNIZ, 42, Gallup, New Mexico

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.”

Bailey Schweitzer

BAILEY SCHWEITZER, 20, Bakersfield, California

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.


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.

Susan Smith

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.

NEYSA TONKS, 46, 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 was 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.

NICOL KIMURA, 38, Placentia, California

Nicol Kimura

Kimura went to the festival with a group of seven men and women who call themselves “framily” — friends who are like family. She was fatally shot seconds after the gunfire began, said Ryan Miller, a businessman and pastor who is part of the group.

A Southern California native who lived in Placentia, Kimura’s survivors include her parents, a sister and the friends who were with her when she died. She was single and didn’t have children, but she was treated like family by the kids of group members, Miller said.

“She was a mom to all of our kids; they called her ‘auntie,'” he said. “I have two kids myself, and they were just absolutely devastated that they will not be able to see her again.”

Kimura worked in a tax office for Orange County and spent most weekends with her friends. No one else in the group was shot.

“She was just such an amazing woman and she was just such a light,” he said.

BRIAN FRASER, 39, La Palma, California

Brian Fraser

Fraser, a father of four, was moving toward the stage in anticipation of Jason Aldean playing his favorite song, “Dirt Road Anthem,” when gunshots rang out.

While others around him ducked for safety, Fraser looked around to try to spot where the shots were coming from, so that he could shield his wife. He died doing just that, his son, Nick Arellano, said.

Fraser’s friend ushered their wives and friends to safety before rushing back to perform CPR on Fraser. A doctor and several nurses in the crowd came to help, eventually loading Fraser into a wheelbarrow and taking him to paramedics.

Arellano recounted the story as told to him by his wife, his mother, and family friends. Arellano had been at the concert with them for the prior two days, but chose to head home early, just missing the harrowing scene.

Arellano described Fraser, 39, as “the definition of American,” a man who boated, hunted, fished and snowboarded. Fraser married his wife, Stephanie, 11 years ago, adopting Arellano and one of her other children.

The couple had two more children together, now ages 4 and 10. The family lives in La Palma, California.

He worked as vice president of sales for a mortgage company and mentored fellow loan officers around the country.

“He taught me what it meant to be an honest, motivated, driven, loving man to not only family and friends, but even to just strangers, or anyone he came in contact with — just to be a human being to everyone on this planet,” Arellano said.

LAURA SHIPP, 50, Las Vegas

Laura Shipp

Laura Shipp raised her son Corey by herself, then moved to Las Vegas from Thousand Oaks, California, a few years ago to be closer to him. Both were country music fans, and they went to the Route 91 Harvest Festival together, said Laura Shipp’s mother, Joyce Shipp.

They were together until just before a gunman opened fire Sunday night.

“We really don’t know what happened, just that she went to the bathroom and nobody saw her after that,” Joyce Shipp said of her 50-year-old daughter, a dispatcher at an air conditioner company.

After her son, a Marine Corps reservist, spent more than a day trying to find out what had happened to Shipp, he was notified she was dead.

“He’s not doing great,” Joyce Shipp said of her grandson. “He’s just trying to get his arms around all this but he’s surrounded by his friends and family. We don’t want to leave him alone at this time.”

LISA PATTERSON, 46, Lomita, California

Lisa Patterson

A few hours before the shooting, Lisa Patterson called her husband to tell him what a great time she was having with her girlfriends — one of the rare weekends she was not coaching one of her kids’ softball teams or volunteering at a school or church event.

Her husband, Bob Patterson, told his wife, a country music lover, to enjoy herself and stay for the last band, assuring her he could get their kids off to school the next morning.

It was the last time Bob Patterson spoke to his wife. After news broke of the shooting spree, he spent the night calling hospitals trying to find her. By 6 a.m. Monday, he and his 16-year-old son, Robert, jumped in the car and drove three hours from their Los Angeles suburb to Las Vegas to find her. His 19-year-old daughter, Amber, drove over from Arizona.

They spent 10 hours searching. Late Monday, Bob Patterson was approached by an official at the Las Vegas convention center, where the coroner’s office set up operations to have more space where families could come to identify those who died.

“My children who had been waiting 100 feet outside the room, knew when I came back out that she had died by the look on my face,” he said. “My oldest daughter instantly broke down and fell on the ground crying.”

Patterson was given his wife’s blood-stained purse, her cellphone and wrist band she wore to get into festival, but little information.

“I have not been told yet how she died,” said Patterson on Wednesday as he planned a funeral for his 46-year-old wife in their home town of Lomita next Friday at their Catholic church.

After he and his children headed home to Lomita, he told his 8-year-old daughter, Brooke, that “mommy passed away.”

He said since she is so young, she seems to be taking it the best out of all of them.

Bob Patterson met his wife when she was 18 and immediately was taken by her beauty, he said. They dated for seven years and were married for 21 years. They opened a hardware flooring store together. They were always together, he said, whether it was running their business, helping at their church, volunteering at school or coaching the many sports their kids did.

“My wife loved life, loved helping and there is nothing she would not do to help someone,” he said.

Bob Patterson said he would get upset whenever there was a mass shooting in recent years from the one at Sandy Hook elementary school in Connecticut to the night club in Orlando, and would think about the victims’ families.

That is why he said he is sharing his own pain, with the hope that it will help stop such tragedies from happening to another family.

KERI LYNN GALVAN, 31, Thousand Oaks, California

Keri Lynn Galvan

Galvan was at the Route 91 Harvest Festival with her husband, Justin, when she was killed, sister Lindsey Poole said in a statement. Her husband survived.

“She was senselessly murdered … while enjoying a night out with her husband and friends,” Poole wrote.

Galvan leaves behind children 2, 4 and 10 years old.

Galvan’s days “started and ended with doing everything in her power to be a wonderful mother,” Poole wrote.


Austin Davis

Davis and his parents had a bond “unlike anything I’ve ever witnessed,” Davis’s friend Katelyn Hood wrote in an online fundraising post.

He was their only son. As soon as news came that he may have been shot, they headed straight from their home in Riverside, California, to Las Vegas. They waited for 20 hours before learning that he had been killed, Hood wrote.

“They raised the best son,” Hood wrote. “He worked so very hard and took the most pride in that and anything he did.”

Through Hood, Davis’s parents declined to be interviewed.

Davis also leaves behind his girlfriend of nine years, whom he met in high school. He was at the concert with his family friend, Thomas Day Jr., who also died.


Brennan Stewart

Country music was nearly everything to Stewart, who rarely missed a chance to hear it performed live, according to a statement from his family.

The musician from Las Vegas played guitar and wrote his own songs. He always put others first, even in his final moments when he used his body to shield his girlfriend from the gunfire, according to his family.

He was an Atlanta Braves and San Francisco 49ers fan and let his family know what they meant to him.

“If country music ever disappeared I feel like I would too,” Brennan once wrote on Facebook. “After a long day of work I go pick up the ‘old geetar’ and strum my stresses away.”

CARLY KREIBAUM, 33, Sutherland, Iowa

Kreibaum lived in tiny Sutherland, Iowa, with a population of fewer than 620 people. She went to bustling Las Vegas with friends.

Kreibaum’s sister-in-law confirmed her death but declined to comment further, saying the family wanted privacy.

The Sioux City Journal reported that Kreibaum, 33, attended the concert with two friends who said they got separated but saw Kreibaum get shot.

Kreibaum was a mother of two and a Sibley native who graduated from Sibley-Ocheyedan High School. She later attended Wayne State College in Wayne, Nebraska. The Sutherland Church of Christ has set up a bank account for donations to her husband and children.

KURT VON TILLOW, 55, Cameron Park, California

Von Tillow was the “most patriotic person you’ve ever met,” brother-in-law Mark Carson told KCRA-TV in Sacramento, California.

Von Tillow, 55, was at Sunday’s concert with his wife, daughter and son-in law, sister and niece, the station reported. The sister and niece were injured and expected to survive, while the other three relatives were unharmed.

Von Tillow likely was smiling and enjoying the music with his family, sipping on a Coors Light and decked out in red, white and blue, Carson said.

A memorial including flowers and American flags has been set up outside Von Tillow’s home.


Erick Silva

Silva was working as a private security guard at the music festival when he was killed while trying to help people get out of the venue safely.

His close friend, Martin Adrian Marin Jr., said he was not surprised Silva died helping others. “He would give the shirt off his back to comfort anyone,” Marin said. “He was such a courageous man.”

Marin has saved the last text message Silva sent to him that Sunday morning, before going to work at the festival.

“I want to wish you a lovely and productive day,” Silva texted. “Just know that I am always here.”

Silva would send text messages like that almost daily, Marin said.

“He was always so sweet and generous and caring,” he said. “It was not hard to fall in love with his personality.”

CHRIS HAZENCOMB, 44, Camarillo, California

Hazencomb was a big sports fan. His mother, Maryanne Hazencomb, told the Ventura County Star she had him taken off a ventilator at 10:50 a.m. Monday.

Hazencomb was struck in the head while shielding his best friend’s wife from bullets, his mother said.

He loved watching professional wrestling on TV every Monday night “even though it’s phony,” Maryanne Hazencomb told the newspaper. He also loved football and followed the Los Angeles Rams.

Hazencomb was a graduate of Thousand Oaks High School.

JORDYN RIVERA, 21, LaVerne, California

Jordyn Rivera

Rivera was in her fourth year as a student at California State University, San Bernardino, where she made an impression on everyone from students to the president.

University President Tomas Morales said he got to know her last summer in London during a study abroad program.

“As one of her faculty members noted, we will remember and treasure her for her warmth, optimism, energy, and kindness,” Morales wrote in a message to faculty and staff.

A native of the Los Angeles suburb of La Verne, Rivera was studying health care management.


The Californian was a mother of four — two older boys, and two babies ages 18 months and two months.

Guillen, 40, was fatally shot in the hail of bullets at the Route 91 music festival, according to a statement on a website raising donations for her family.

“She was a hard worker,” Marcus Guillen told KNBC in Los Angeles. “She was a fighter, a great mother.

Guillen worked as an assistant general manager at a pizza restaurant, and went to Katella High school in Anaheim.


Brandon and Pati Mestas

The first time Alexis Magana drove over to her friend Brandon Mestas’ house, she asked how to find it.

“Oh, you’ll know,” he told her. “It’s the one blasting country.”

It was Brandon’s mom, Pati Mestas, who was the household’s country music fanatic. Pati Mestas, 67, of California, died in Las Vegas while listening to that favorite music. Magana remembered her as someone who was “fearless and bold” and always welcoming, from that very first day they met.

“She really was a firecracker,” Magana wrote to The Associated Press in a Facebook message. “I just never dreamed she’d be taken from us in an instant. Our firecracker is gone and now it’s just dark.”

Brandon Mestas, 33, wrote on his Facebook page that his mother surely enjoyed herself in her final moments.

“She left this world surrounded by friends, singing and dancing with thousands of people. If I had to write the script myself, I could not have done a better job,” he wrote.


Link was doing one of the things he most enjoyed with the person he most enjoyed — his fiancee, Lynne Gonzales — when automatic gunfire peppered the crowd at the Route 91 Harvest Festival.

Link, 55, Gonzales, and two of their close friends were there to hear country music when he was shot.

A “gentle spirit” was lost with Link’s death, said his older brother, Craig Link, 58.

“He was somebody that everybody loved,” Craig Link told The Associated Press on Thursday. “Victor had a gentle spirit, a loving spirit. He was a giver. He was always there for any of his friends or family. If he could, he would help out wherever he could. He was a good man.

“He was my younger brother, but I always aspired to be him.”

The brothers grew up northwest of Bakersfield in Shafter, California. As teenagers, much of their lives revolved around music, going to concerts and cars.

Victor Link and Gonzales, who wasn’t hurt in Sunday’s shooting, had been to several country music concerts over the last several years. Going to concerts “was their favorite thing to do,” Craig Link said.

“He was so blessed to have Lynne in his life,” Craig Link said. “Those two had an amazing love that very, very few people are blessed to understand and enjoy.”

CARRIE PARSONS, Seattle, Washington

Carrie Parsons was a huge fan of country singer Eric Church.

“Night made!” she posted early Saturday on Facebook after seeing the singer at the Las Vegas country festival.

Parsons was one of the nearly 60 people who died when shots rang out at the Jason Aldean concert Sunday night.

“I feel peace knowing she was living life until her last moments,” her friend Carolyn Farmer wrote in a post sharing Parson’s comments about the Church show on the singer’s Facebook page.

Parsons was a staffing manager at the recruiting company Ajilon in Seattle, according to her LinkedIn page.

Mary Beth Waddill, a LinkedIn spokeswoman, said the company is respecting the family’s privacy but may release a statement on Parsons’ death.

CANDICE BOWERS, Garden Grove, California

Candice Bowers

Bowers was a tough-minded single mother of three with a loud, infectious laugh. Her family said she worked as a waitress and was spending some much-needed time off at the concert. The huge Jason Aldean fan was very excited to be there.

She was also celebrating a personal milestone: Bowers had just finished a yearslong process to adopt a 2-year-old daughter.

“That was just done, and it was a big accomplishment to get through the adoption process,” said Michelle Bolks, Bowers’ aunt.

Bowers also had a 20-year-old daughter and a 16-year-old son.

“She had a bit of a rough upbringing, but as soon as babies came into her life she stepped up and stepped forward and never looked back. She did this all by herself and took this little one in and was doing it again,” Bolks said.


Brett Schwanbeck was hit almost immediately when the first shots were fired, his niece Carla Dawn wrote in an online fundraising page.

Schwanbeck, 61, was at the concert with his fiancee, Anna. She found refuge in a dumpster as the shots kept coming, then ran back to Schwanbeck and begged for people to help him as soon as the shooting stopped, Dawn wrote.

Schwanbeck was rushed to a hospital, where he fought his injuries for two days before dying Tuesday.

His niece described him someone who “would drive 500 miles to help you if you needed it.”


It was a weekend of birthday celebrations for Meyer in Las Vegas.

Meyer, an automotive student at Truckee Meadows Community College in Nevada, was attending the concert with his fiancee, Dana Getreu.

Meyer dreamed of opening his own repair shop and starting a family, his sister, Veronica Meyer, told KSBW News.

“Austin was a joy to be around. He always had a smile on his face, was (witty) and was always making people laugh,” she said.


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