The deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history left 58 dead and 489 people injured after a gunman opened fire on crowd of 22,000 concertgoers during a country music festival Sunday, October 1, 2017 on the Las Vegas Strip.
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As the tragic news unfolded, families and friends spoke to media outlets to talk about their loved ones.
Charleston Hartfield, 34, was a police officer with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department for 11 years. He was off duty at the time of the shooting.
Hartfield was described as a well-respected and selfless member of the community. The military veteran had a son and a daughter. As a youth football coach, he helped every player to excel, said Stan King, whose son played on Hartfield’s team.
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Troy Rhett, another friend, said he knew Hartfield was attending the concert. After hearing about the mass shooting, Rhett texted Hartfield to find out whether he was safe. Hartfield never responded.
Hartfield wrote a book in July titled, “Memoirs of a Public Servant,” about his career as a Las Vegas police officer.
Dorene Anderson, a 49-year-old Alaskan, was killed in the shooting, according to her husband’s employer.
She attended the concert with her daughters.
Her husband, John, worked for the Alaska Housing Finance Corp. The company’s CEO sent out an email on Monday, Oct. 2 saying Dorene was killed in the shooting.
Anderson described herself on Facebook as a stay-at-home mom interested in the minor league hockey team, Alaska Aces. She was a member of the Aces’ “Cowbell Crew.”
"Dorene was the most beautiful, kind and giving woman I have ever known. She loved her husband and girls with a passion we could never match,” wrote Gayle Simmons White, a friend, according to KTUU-TV. "I admired her every action. She was an angel on Earth and will forever walk in our lives.”
Denise Salmon Burditus
Denise Burditus, a 50-year-old mother of two and soon-to-be grandmother from West Virginia, died in the arms of her husband, Tony.
"Denise passed in my arms. I LOVE YOU BABE." her husband of 32 years wrote on social media, according to MetroNews, a radio station in West Virginia.
Just hours before the attack, Burditus posted a photo from the festival on social media, showing herself and her husband smiling as they stood in front of the stage. It was the second time the couple attended the festival.
Lisa Romero-Muniz, 48, was a beloved high school secretary and advocate for students in New Mexico. She was described as an "incredible loving and sincere friend, mentor and advocate for students” by the Gallup-McKinley County Public Schools' interim superintendent.
Romero-Muniz leaves behind a husband, children and grandchildren, according to the school district.
The 29-year-old from Big Sandy, Tenn., died protecting his wife when the gunman unleashed a hail of bullets, his family told Fox affiliate WZTV-TV.
"At this point, I'm in complete disbelief and despair," the man's wife, Heather Gulish Melton, told the station in a statement the next day. "I don't know what to say. Sonny was the most kind-hearted, loving man I have ever met. He saved my life and lost his."
"He saved my life and lost his."
Melton, 29, was a registered nurse who worked at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital in Jackson, Tenn., according to his Facebook profile.
On Friday night, Melton posted on the social media site that he was attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas with his wife, an orthopedic surgeon.
The couple worked at the same hospital and married in 2016.
"We were the couple that never should have met, fallen in love or had a future together....but life is funny and we believe God brought us together as soul mates," read their wedding page on the website the Knot. "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."
Jordan McIldoon, a 23-year-old Canadian, died in the shooting, according to multiple media reports. He was days away from his 24th birthday. A fellow concertgoer, Heather Gooze, wrote on her Facebook page that McIldoon died in her arms.
The man's parents, who confirmed their son's death to CBC News, said McIldoon attended the concert with his girlfriend and had planned to return home Monday.
"We only had one child," they said. "We just don't know what to do."
The 35-year-old Alaska native died during the concert, a family member said Monday. Murfitt worked as a fisherman, and attended the concert to "treat himself to something nice and fun," his sister told the Associated Press.
Shannon Gothard described her brother as a man with a hearty laugh and a former competitive hockey player who still dabbled in the game. "His whole life was always around hockey," she said.
Jessica Klymchuk, 28, was an educational assistant, librarian and bus driver in Valleyview, Alberta.
"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 Las Vegas with her fiancé.
The 53-year-old was a California resident who worked for the Simi Valley School District since 2001.
"Susan was wonderful with the kids and the staff and was an integral part of the school community here," said Jake Finch, 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."
Co-workers learned about Smith’s death from friends who attended the festival with her.
Guidance counselors were made available to students and teachers Monday. 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 onto, to make sure they felt like they were able to help in some way," she said.
Smith was married with two adult children.
Sandra "Sandy" Casey
The 35-year-old was a middle school special education teacher who attended the Las Vegas concert with her fiancé and a friend.
Casey was an alumna of the College of St. Joseph in Rutland, Vt., and Assumption College in Worcester, Mass., said Linda O'Leary, a cousin of Casey's mother who is acting as a family spokeswoman. The family is discussing setting up a scholarship in Casey's name. She was a special education teacher in California.
Quinton Robbins, 20, was a University of Nevada-Las Vegas student described as easily admired. He had a “contagious laugh and smile,” according to his aunt.
“I can’t say enough good about this sweet soul,” the aunt, Kilee Wells Sanders, wrote on social media. “Everyone who met him loved him. His contagious laugh and smile.”
“Please also respect their privacy as this is a devastating loss that is incredibly painful for the families,” she added, as she asked for people’s prayers.
Angela "Angie" Gomez
Angie Gomez, 20, was attending the concert with her boyfriend when she was fatally shot.
Her sister, Tawny Finn, told NPR that Gomez didn’t usually attend concerts but loved country music and wanted to attend the festival and stay the additional night to see Jason Aldean perform. Her boyfriend, Ethan, attended the concert with her, Finn said.
“He was just telling me, like, that day at lunch that he was just telling her that he would never want to be with anybody else and how they had plans – when they were going to get married, when they were going to have kids,” Finn said. “Like, they literally were the childhood sweethearts that were going to make it.”
Finn said the family is grateful that Ethan stayed with Gomez after she was hurt and laid on top of her to protect her from additional gunfire.
Gomez was a 2015 graduate of Riverside Polytechnic High School PTSA in Riverside, Calif.
"She will always be loved and endeared by our Poly Family," the school wrote on Facebook.
Rhonda LeRocque, 41, who was described as “one of the nicest people you will ever meet in your life,” attended the concert with her daughter and husband.
The devastated family confirmed her death to the Boston Globe. Her husband and daughter were not harmed.
“All I know is someone started shooting and people are running and she got shot in the head,” Carol Marquis, LeRocque’s grandmother, told the Globe. “And we lost a dear, close, good person — one of the nicest people you will ever meet in your life.”
LeRocque was from Massachusetts. She was active in her church and worked for a design firm, the Globe reported.
A San Diego “bubbly, vivacious, pint-sized, aggressive attorney,” Jennifer Irvine, 42, was set to do “good things in her career.”
She reportedly spent her final moments dancing and singing at the concert with her girlfriends, Time magazine reported.
"You are a shining light that will not be extinguished by a gutless coward with a gun."
“Jennifer Irvine, you are a shining light that will not be extinguished by a gutless coward with a gun. You brought so much joy to others, including me. You left this world singing & dancing, but far too soon,” wrote Kyle Krasta, a friend of Jennifer’s.
“You made this world a better place simply by your presence. So long, my dear friend.”
John Phippen, a father from Santa Clarita, Calif., attended the concert with his son, Travis. Both were shot, but the elder Phippen died Monday morning.
“If you didn't know John you surely missed out,” family friend Leah Nagyivanyi said on a GoFundMe page for the father. “He had a heart that was larger than life and a personality to match. You felt like you knew him for years the first time you met him.”
Nagyivanyi said Phippen “enjoyed the simple things in life.”
“Even if you were someone he had never met before but were in need, he was there for you,” she recalled.
Thomas Day Jr.
Thomas Day Jr., 54, was at the festival with his four daughters and his father, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
Bruce Abbey, vice president of Portrait Construction, said Day was a construction estimator who lived in Corona. Abbey told the Review-Journal that Day was a “great father” and a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Los Angeles Angels.
“He would always stand up for you. He’ll be missed,” Abbey said.
A pipefitter from Riverside, Calif., 29-year-old Austin Davis' death was confirmed by his girlfriend, Aubree Hennigan on Facebook.
"My love, I can't believe this happened. You didn't deserve this," she wrote.
Katelyn Hood, a family friend, said the family’s bond “is unlike anything I’ve ever seen.”
"My love, I can't believe this happened. You didn't deserve this."
“They raised the best son,” she said on a GoFundMe page set up in Davis’ honor. “He was the man’s man. He worked so very hard and took the most pride in that and anything he did.”
“If he knew [you], he loved you. That’s just how he cared for people,” Hood said.
Davis was reportedly on a guys' trip that included Thomas Day Jr., who was also killed during the attack, the Press-Enterprise reported. Berta Garcia, the co-ed director for USA Softball of Southern California, told the newspaper that Day was “like a second dad” to Davis.
“They had grown up playing fast-pitch softball together,” Garcia said. “Tom kind of guided him.”
Courtney Belger, one of Davis’ friends, described the young man as someone “you can always ask and know he’s going to come through for you.”
Because he was an avid softball player, Davis’ friends have organized a home run derby for Sunday to raise money for the Davis and Day families.
Neysa Tonks, 46, originally from Utah, moved to Las Vegas 10 years ago.
Her brother said: "She was pretty much a single mother who raised three boys. She was a great mom and a great sister and a great friend," who worked at the IT firm Technologent.
“Neysa has brought so much joy, fun and laughter to Technologent – she will be greatly missed by all,” the company said in a statement.
AJ Yerage told KUTV-TV that Tonks was “always laughing, always joking, always sarcastic.” Tonks enjoyed traveling and providing for her sons, he told the news station.
“How happy and lucky I feel that she was part of my life,” Yerage said. “I can hear her laugh, her voice in my head and my heart right now.”
“I was just proud that I was her brother,” he said.
Chris Davis, her father, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that Tonks was “generous with not only money, but her time as well.” He said she would stuff hundreds of backpacks with supplies in the winter to deliver to the less fortunate.
“What a tragedy to take our beautiful daughter,” Davis said. “We are heartbroken and can’t breathe.”
Bailey Schweitzer, 20, was described as “the ray of sunshine” by her employers.
"If you have ever called or visited our office, she was the perky one that helped direct you to the staff member you needed," wrote Infinity Communications and Consulting CEO Fred Brakeman in a statement announcing the death.
The day after the shooting, the company left the lights out where the young woman would normally sit and instead placed a single candle at her desk, the Bakersfield Californian reported.
"It’s the phone call I’ve been waiting for. For her to tell me she’s coming home."
Katelynn Cleveland, who worked with Schweitzer, said they had communicated just hours before the deadly shooting. The pair talked nearly every day, Cleveland said, especially if one didn’t show up for work unexpectedly.
“It’s the phone call I’ve been waiting for. For her to tell me she’s coming home,” Cleveland told the newspaper.
Friends and coworkers described Schweitzer as a country music fan with an “addicting” smile who would often spend her free time at the Bakersfield Speedway race track, which her family owns.
Rachael Parker, a police records technician, was shot and ultimately died in a hospital, the Manhattan Beach (Calif.) 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.
Jack Beaton of Bakersfield, Calif., was killed while covering his wife from gunfire.
His mother-in-law told KBAX-TV that Beaton was an “incredibly friendly, caring and loving” man.
The news station reported that he was celebrating his 23rd anniversary at the music festival, and when the gunfire rang out, he shielded his wife.
Jerry Cook, his father-in-law, said Beaton covered his wife with his body and “got shot I don’t know how many times.”
"She told him she loved him, and she would see him in heaven."
“She knew he was dying,” Cook said of his daughter. “He told her he loved her. She told him she loved him, and she would see him in heaven.”
Beaton has two children, Jake and Delaney, KBAX-TV reported.
Victor Link, 52, was living in San Clemente, Calif., his sister told KBAX-TV.
Link enjoyed traveling and attending concerts with his fiancée, the Bakersfield Californian reported. The pair had just returned from a trip to Europe before attending the country music festival in Las Vegas.
A loan processor, Link leaves behind his fiancée, Lynn Gonzales, and his 23-year-old adopted son, Christian.
“He was such a welcoming person,” said Vincent Link, his nephew. “The kind of guy who’s going to give a shirt off his back who I could always go to for guidance. I’m going to miss him more than I could imagine in this moment.”
Christopher Roybal, 28, was described as jovial and fun-loving, despite experiencing intense combat during four tours in the Middle East.
"He is a guy that could always put a smile on your face ... after all the stuff he had been through," said David Harman, who founded a company that owns the Colorado gym where Roybal worked.
Roybal, 28, worked at Crunch Fitness in Corona and Riverside, Calif., before he moved at the beginning of the year to help open franchises in Colorado Springs, Colo.
"As far as responsibility and discipline and work ethic, there wasn't any question about him coming on board with us," said Harman, who has known Roybal for about 4 ½ years. "He was a good, hard worker, a grinder."
A mother of three from Murrietta, Calif., Hannah Ahlers was one of the victims in Sunday night’s shooting, her father-in-law told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Ahlers, 34, attended the festival with her husband and other couples. She was fatally shot in the head when the gunman opened fire.
Dave Ahlers, her father-in-law, said she was a “loving, caring and devoted mother” of children who range in age from 3 to 14.
On her Facebook page, friends remembered Ahlers as a “beautiful person inside and out.” One Facebook friend commented that Ahlers “would publicly declare [her] faith on” social media, something that was striking.
Kurt Von Tillow
Kurt Von Tillow, 55, attended the festival with relatives when he was fatally shot. His wife, daughter and son-in-law managed to escape the concert unharmed; his sister and niece were hospitalized but expected to survive, according to KCRA-TV.
“My brother-in-law was the most patriotic person you’ve ever met,” Von Tillow’s brother-in-law Mark Carson told the news station. “Guarantee you, he was covered in red, white and blue, with a Coors Light in his hand, smiling with his family and listening to some music.”
A memorial has been erected outside of Von Tillow’s backyard, adorned with an American flag and flowers. During a gathering of friends and family Monday to remember the Californian, the national anthem played.
“He loved to golf, loved his club, loved his family, loved his country,” Carson told KCRA. “He’ll be really missed.”
Disney employee Carrie Barnette was among those killed Sunday night, Disney CEO Robert Iger announced on Twitter.
Barnette, 34, worked at Flo’s V-8 Café in Cars Land in Disney California Adventure in Anaheim, Calif., People magazine reported.
“Carrie Barnette has been a member of the Disney California Adventure culinary team for ten years and was beloved by her friends and colleagues,” Iger said in a statement. “Our thoughts are with her family, along with our support, during this incredibly difficult time.”
Iger also took to Twitter to announce the loss of the employee.
“A senseless, horrific, act, and a terrible loss for so many,” Iger said. “Tragic.”
Rachel Steiman, who told the Arizona Republic that she was best friends with Barnette, said her “whole world is devastated.”
“I don’t know how I’m going to get through life without her,” Steiman said.
Barnette’s cousin, Janice Chambers, described her as “the life of the party.”
“Always smiling, happy and upbeat. She spent many recent years caring for my aunt and uncle until they passed,” Chambers recalled. “She was definitely grandpa’s girl. ... She was also a huge animal lover.”
Stacee Rodrigues Etcheber
The wife of a San Francisco police officer, Stacee Rodrigues Etcheber also died in the Las Vegas attack, the San Francisco Police Department announced.
“With heavy hearts, the San Francisco Police Department today mourns the passing of Stacee Etcheber,” Chief William Scott said in a statement. “Stacee was taken in a senseless act of violence as her husband, SFPD Officer Vinnie Etcheber, heroically rushed to aid shooting victims in Las Vegas on Sunday.”
Scott said Etcheber, 50, was a mother to two children and a hairstylist in Marin County.
“As we grieve, we ask the public to keep the Etcheber family in their thoughts, along with all of the victims of this tragic incident,” Scott said.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Etcheber’s husband had instructed her to run away from the scene while he stayed behind to help injured people.
Dana Gardner, 52, was with her daughter, Kayla, at the music festival. Kayla was uninjured, KABC-TV reported.
Gardner also has two sons named Anthony and Ryan, according to KABC.
“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,” Kayla Gardner wrote on Facebook Monday.
Gardner had worked at the San Bernardino County Assessor/Recorder/County Clerk’s office for 26 years, the San Bernardino Sun reported.
“She had a lot of knowledge. She was a great employee,” Assessor/Recorder/County Clerk Bob Dutton told the newspaper. He also described Gardner as a “dedicated public servant” and a “go-to” person.
“Everybody here is still in shock. They’re waiting for [her] to walk through the door,” Dutton said.
Jennifer "Jenny" Parks
Jenny Parks was a kindergarten teacher from California.
Parks attended the concert with her husband, Bobby, who was shot in the arm, said family friend Jessica Maddin.
Bobby and Jenny Parks were high school sweethearts and have two children together. Jenny Parks helped Maddin start the group, Jessica’s Hope Project, which provides care packages to troops.
Jenny Parks received her master’s degree in education in May, according to People.
Dr. Steven McCarthy, Bobby Parks’ uncle, said Jenny was “absolutely beautiful and very intelligent, had a wonderful sense of humor and was so kind.” He said she loved decorating for holidays and was planning a birthday party for her husband for next week before she died.
“They were the perfect family,” he said.
Bill Wolfe Jr.
Shippensburg Police Department said on Facebook that Bill Wolfe Jr., “has been confirmed to be among the deceased as a result of the mass attack in Las Vegas.”
“Please continue to hold our entire family as well as those affected across the nation in your unending prayers,” the department said.
Wolfe was a youth wrestling and baseball coach in the Pennsylvania, according to WHTM-TV. He was in Las Vegas to celebrate his 20th wedding anniversary.
“This league is far more than a sports organization. It is a family, and that was so evident by the amount of support shown by our Little Leagues families during this unfathomable time of sorrow,” Shippensburg Little League said in a Facebook post. “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.”
“His family will forever be in our thoughts and prayers,” the league said.
Cory Forrester, the booster club president, remembered Wolfe as “just a good guy.”
“He was a go-to kind of guy, a guy you could depend on, a kind of guy you could be proud to be around,” Forrester told PennLive.com.
Erick Silva, a 21-year-old living in Las Vegas, was part of the show’s security detail and near the front of the stage when the attack began, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
The newspaper reported that Silva helped concertgoers escape until he was shot himself.
"He was trying to help people get out. He was in the front of the stage. He was in front of everything."
Gina Argento, the office manager for the Las Vegas branch of Contemporary Services Corporation, said Silva worked in security for about three years.
“He was trying to help people get out,” Argento told the Review-Journal. “He was in the front of the stage. He was in front of everything.”
Melissa Ramirez was a 2014 graduate of California State University, Bakersfield.
“We are terribly saddened to learn that we lost a member of our CSUB family in this senseless act of violence,” said university president Horace Mitchell in a statement. “Our entire CSUB campus community is heartbroken, and we send our deepest sympathies to Melissa Ramirez’s family and friends.”
Ramirez had graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. She was also reportedly a fan of the Philadelphia Eagles.
A GoFundMe page set up to help the family with funeral costs announced her death “with deepest sadness and absolute shock.”
Brennan Stewart, 30, loved people and country music. He died as he was shielding his girlfriend from gunfire, his family said in a statement to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
“His selfless courage is what everyone hopes to instill in their child. Unfortunately he paid the ultimate price for that sacrifice,” a GoFundMe page set up in Stewart’s honor said.
A fan of country music, Stewart’s Facebook page includes many videos of himself singing with a guitar –including one particularly haunting song that has since gone viral. In a video posted on Oct. 4, 2016, Stewart covered the country song “You Should Be Here” by Cole Swindell, a song about the loss of a loved one.
The video has more than 166,000 views and 1,480 shares as of Oct. 5.
“Brennan made close friends quickly; was loved and will be missed greatly by family and friends, but his memory will live on,” his family said in a statement.
Proceeds from the GoFundMe fundraiser will go toward a “local youth organization centered around the art of music,” it said.
Friends also wore boots in remembrance of Brennan and started the social media campaign #BootsForBrennan.
Brain Fraser, 39, was at the music festival with his family and friends and was headed closer to the stage to hear his favorite song by Jason Aldean when the gunfire erupted.
“He served as my rock and my mentor,” Nick Arellano, Fraser’s stepson, told the Orange County Register. “He became my dad and my father figure. He helped anyone who asked. That’s why people loved and adored him.”
Fraser is survived by his wife and four children.
Arellano told the newspaper that Fraser was a fan of hunting, snowboarding and deep-sea fishing. He also attended church, loved country music and had just received his private pilot’s license.
Fraser was the vice president of sales at Greenpath, the company said in a Facebook post.
“Brian Fraser impacted everyone who crossed his path with his infectious positive energy, his tenacious will to succeed and his willingness to help others,” the statement said. “Our hearts are broken, and the Greenpath family will never forget you, Brian.”
A waitress from Canada in her 20s, Calla Medig often attended the outdoor country music festival, according to her boss.
"She was [a] little bit of everything around here, she was kind of a rock and as of Thursday she would have been our newest manager," Scott Collingwood, her boss, told CBC News. "A lot of us around here have super heavy hearts and we already miss her."
The Jasper Royal Canadian Legion branch lowered its flag Monday in her memory, according to CBC.
Tara Roe Smith
Tara Roe Smith, 34, was with her husband in Las Vegas for a weekend getaway from their home in Alberta, Canada, according to the National Post.
Her aunt, Val Rodgers, confirmed that the mother of two had passed away due to the shooting.
“She was a beautiful soul. She was a wonderful mother and our family is going to miss her dearly,” Rodgers told the Canadian newspaper.
Roe Smith was a model with Sophia Models International for 10 years, the agency said in a statement.
"She was a beautiful soul."
“She was always a friendly face and had a very caring spirit,” the agency said. “We are saddened, shocked and pray for everyone affected by this tragedy.”
A GoFundMe page asks people to donate money to Roe Smith’s husband, Zach, because “he’s not the kind to ask for help” even though “Zach would give you the shirt off his back, even if you weren’t the kind to ask for help either.”
Roe Smith was also an educational assistant at an elementary school, according to Metro News.
“It has been a challenging time for our Division yet we continue to stand together and support one another,” Foothills School Division superintendent John Bailey said on Facebook. “We have put our crisis response team in place and they will remain as long as is needed to assist students and staff.”
Michelle Vo was described by a friend as a “human charging station.” The 32-year-old was known as an avid rock climber, traveler and the person who donated blood every two weeks, according to SFGate.com.
“She creates a rapport instantly,” her sister Diane Hawkins told the newspaper. “She’s very bubbly and happy. Just fun. She’s very kind.”
“Everyone that’s met her can’t say enough good things about her,” Hawkins said, adding that Vo would often travel to Washington where she lived to visit her and her 8-year-old niece.
Cathy Vo, another sister, told KTVU-TV that she was “happy” and was “telling us how much fun she was having” at the concert.
It was her second time at the musical festival, the newspaper reported. She attended the concert with a friend, but the two separated after Vo met a man from Ohio.
"She was the definition of a boss girl. She was a boss woman."
Kody Robertson, from Ohio, told the Columbus Dispatch that he met Vo just hours before the massacre. The two laughed and danced together at the festival. Robertson said once he realized that the popping noise wasn’t fireworks but gunfire, he threw himself on top of Vo, who was already shot. He stayed with her and waited at the hospital for hours to find out her fate, he said.
Vo worked with New York Life Insurance Company and was producer of the month, according to SFGate.com. She had also recently joined the chamber of commerce.
“As a woman myself and as a young woman, [Vo] was an inspiration,” Vivian Ha, a 24-year-old coworker, said. “She was the definition of a boss girl. She was a boss woman.”
“Every good deed we do, we do it a little easier because Michelle taught us how. The responsibility to continue to share her infectious ambition, excitability, and passion for life now lies within all of us,” Vo’s brother-in-law said on a GoFundMe page.
Kelsey Meadows, 28, was a substitute teacher at Taft Union High School in California.
Meadows’ brother, Brad, announced her death in a Facebook post Oct. 3.
“My family and I want to take a minute and thank everyone that has been trying to help us locate my sister,” Brad Meadows said. “So it is with an absolutely shattered heart that I let everyone know that Kelsey did not survive this tragic event.”
Meadows was an alumna of California State University, Fresno, and the school announced that it would be lowering its flags to half-staff in her honor. Meadows received a bachelor’s degree in history from the university in 2011 and a social science teaching credential in 2013.
“We are saddened by this tragic loss of such a promising young life,” Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro said in a statement.
“I am devastated that such a wonderful student and gifted teacher died in this attack,” Dr. Lori Clune, a history professor who was Meadows’ adviser, said. “It is a tragic loss.”
The Taft Union High School has planned a candlelight vigil to honor Meadows and the other victims of the attack.
Steve Berger, an award-winning financial consultant, was in Las Vegas to celebrate his 44th birthday.
From Minnesota, Berger was at the country music festival with his friend and former college roommate, Josh Decker.
Berger was a “hard working son-of-a-gun,” Dick Berger, his father, told Minnesota Public Radio.
Berger was a father of three kids, ages 8, 11 and 15.
“He was charismatic, full of energy and breathed life into every room. He was always so positive,” Decker told the Star Tribune.
Decker said after his friend was shot, he and others tried to help him. Eventually a former Marine, who was aiding Berger, instructed Decker and his girlfriend to run to safety.
“I watched my friend die in front of me,” Decker said, adding that as he ran from the scene, he knew his friend had passed away but his “heart hoped he was alive.”
Like others, Andrea Castilla was in Las Vegas with her friends to celebrate her birthday.
Castilla, 28, was at the concert with her boyfriend, sister and sister’s fiancé when the shots began.
Shane Armstrong, a friend, said that after Castilla was shot, the group of friends tried to protect her from additional gunfire while getting her medical attention, according to the Orange County Register. Eventually, he said, they used a piece of a fence to carry her out of the venue and met with a passing motorist who took them to the hospital.
Castilla’s family learned of her death Monday morning.
A friend who commented on a GoFundMe page to help the family said Castilla was “a kind and loving person.”
Denise Cohen and her boyfriend, Derrick “Bo” Taylor, had planned to go to the Route 91 Festival for weeks. Both Cohen and Taylor died during the shooting.
“Our mother was such a strong, beautiful and happy woman who made a difference to the lives of everyone she knew,” Jeff Rees, one of her two sons, told KEYT-TV. “She was such a happy person and enjoyed doing the things in life that she loved.”
Rees noted that in the “last photo of her,” she was happy and with Taylor, “a person that loves her.”
"I know you are up there in heaven dancing to your favorite country song and smiling down on us."
Rees told the Ventura County Star that Cohen and Taylor had been dating off and on for several years.
Leana Orsua, who lived with Cohen, 58, in Carpinteria, Calif., told the news station that she thought of Cohen more as a family member than a roommate.
“She was a very active social person,” Orsua said. “She touched so many lives. She was a super positive, genuine, kind-hearted individual.”
On Facebook, Orsua confirmed the deaths of her friend and Taylor.
“You were so special to me. I know you are up there in heaven dancing to your favorite country song and smiling down on us,” Orsua said.
Cohen was active in her church and planned to volunteer at the California Avocado Festival.
Derrick “Bo” Taylor
Lt. Derrick “Bo” Taylor, 56, was killed during the shooting, the Sierra Conservation Center warden confirmed, according to KCRA-TV.
Taylor was a correctional lieutenant in California and reportedly had been with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for 29 years.
“There are no words to express the feeling of loss and sadness regarding Bo’s passing,” Sierra Conservation Center warden Joel Martinez said in a memo to employees, obtained by KCRA.
“We truly are a family here at SCC and Bo’s loss will be felt throughout the prison, conservation campus and Department,” Martinez said.
Taylor had two adult sons, the Ventura County Star reported. He was in a relationship with Denise Cohen, who also died in the shooting.
Christiana Duarte, 22, had recently graduated from the University of Arizona and was set to begin her new job with the Los Angeles Kings hockey team.
“She’s such a value to this world, and this is just a tremendous loss,” Danette Meyers, a family friend, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “The things she could have accomplished.”
In college, Duarte was a member of the Sigma Kappa sorority and was also a singer, Meyers said.
She was the daughter of Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Michael Duarte and the sister of Mikey Duarte, a Chicago White Sox minor league baseball player.
"She’s such a value to this world, and this is just a tremendous loss. The things she could have accomplished..."
"It is a shocking and horrific event for all of us," University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins said in a statement. "I know I speak for the UA community in expressing our deepest condolences to Christiana's family and in asking for their privacy to be respected."
Maddie Noble, a close friend of Duarte, told the Arizona Republic that her friend was “incredibly driven, passionate about everyone and everything.”
Noble said Duarte loved country music and had invited her to attend the festival but she was unable to because of a sorority commitment.
Her brother has shared photos of her on social media since the attack.
Rocio Guillen, a mother of four, was at the festival with her fiancé when she was shot. She managed to escape the venue but later died at the hospital, according to KTTV.
Guillen, 40, had just given birth to her son, Austin, a month before the shooting. Her other three children are 1, 13 and 18 years old, according to a GoFundMe page set up to help the family.
“Her greatest accomplishment was being a mother as she would always say. She was a supermom, always working hard and juggling everything to be the best mom to her 4 children,” her cousin wrote on the GoFundMe page, adding that her and fiancé Chris Jaksha were engaged to be married “soon.”
Jaksha and Guillen were at the festival to celebrate a friend’s birthday.
"Her greatest accomplishment was being a mother."
Her oldest son, Marcus, described his mother as a “fighter” and “hard worker.” He said she overcame paralysis when she was pregnant with his brother and was angry at the shooting.
Marcus said Jaksha had texted him to let him know that his mother had been shot, but Marcus didn’t know that his mom had passed away until the next day.
“He said, ‘I’m sorry, buddy. I did the best that I can, I did everything that I could to protect her. I’m so sorry,’” Marcus said.
A devout Catholic, friends and relatives remember Lisa Patterson as being devoted to her church, her family and her business.
Patterson was in Las Vegas for a weekend trip with five other mothers of children in the parish’s school, according to the Daily Breeze.
“My wife was a great person,” her husband, Robert Patterson told the newspaper. “She was very active in the church, brought up my three kids. I was with her for over 30 years. I can’t believe she’s gone.”
He attended a vigil on Tuesday and said he wrote a note for his wife.
“I just told my wife how great she was to me and how she was the most beautiful thing and had the greatest smile and was such a warm, caring person,” he said. “There was nobody that cares more about people and life more than my wife, Lisa. I don’t know what to do. That’s why I’m out here so early in the morning. I’m lost right now.”
"There was nobody that cares more about people and life more than my wife."
“Lisa was a force. She was a dedicated mother and she was such an advocate for her children,” said Tracey Martin, the vice principal of St. John Fisher school.
Along with her husband, Patterson owned the Robert Patterson Hardwood Floors in California.
“Lisa had an infectious energy and fierce love for her family, and we are beyond heartbroken for Bob and their three kids,” Andy Tamilin said on a GoFundMe page for the family. He described Patterson as a “loving mother” and “constant presence at the PV Girls Softball League fields.”
Jordyn Rivera, 21, was studying health care management at California State Universeity, San Bernardino.
“I personally got a chance to know her when we spent time together last summer in London during the summer abroad program,” CSUSB President Tomás Morales said in a statement to the school. “As one of her faculty members noted, we will remember and treasure her for her warmth, optimism, energy, and kindness.”
Dimitri Tamalis, chairman of the college’s Health Science and Human Ecology department, told the San Bernardino Sun that the entire department “is affected” and those who knew Rivera are “extremely distraught.”
“She was very well liked by both faculty and students alike,” Tamalis said. “She was very well known because of her personality and her activities outside of the curriculum.”
Members of Eta Sigma Gamma, the national health education honorary society to which Rivera belonged, started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for a memorial for Rivera.
“This beautiful soul served as an engaged member of the local community, personally leaving her mark on all those around her,” the page stated. “Leaving nothing to chance, Jordyn made sure that her passionate heart guided and led all of the people that she cared about in her life. Her life, which was so full of light, was taken from her before her time.”
Cameron Robinson, 28, was at the concert with his boyfriend. Though he lived in St. George, Utah, Robinson would drive to Las Vegas for work.
Robinson’s boyfriend was also injured during the shooting, but he is expected to survive, according to KUTV.
A GoFundMe page said Robinson loved to cook, travel, camp, run marathons and be outdoors.
“He was full of life and love and so much passion,” Valerie Alvey wrote. “He loved his family, friends and everyone he came in contact with.”
Heather Warino Alvarado
Heather Warino Alvarado, 35, was the wife of a Utah firefighter. She died the night after at a Las Vegas hospital, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.
“She always saw the good in others,” said a statement from her husband, Albert Alvarado. “She spent her whole life serving others in her family and community.”
Alvarado reportedly enjoyed taking trips with her three children and husband.
“She was happiest when she was together with her family, especially her children, and she would do anything for them,” Albert Alvarado said.
"She was happiest when she was together with her family, especially her children, and she would do anything for them."
The Cedar City Fire Department sent three crews to support Albert Alvarado after the shooting occurred.
“This is part of our family,” CCFD Chief Mike Phillips told The Spectrum. “There’s no question that we are going to feel the soreness and loss from this senseless act of violence from this coward for years to come.”
Alvarado ran an in-home day care center, according to the newspaper.
Keri Galvan, 31, was a mother of three. She attended the concert with her husband, Justin, a Marine. After the shooting, Galvan died in her husband’s arms.
Galvan is described by friends as being a dedicated mother to her young children.
“Her days started and ended with doing everything in her power to be a wonderful mother,” her sister, Lindsey Poole, wrote on a GoFundMe page set up to help the children.
Galvan reportedly worked as a server at Mastro’s Steakhouse in Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Just a few days after he celebrated his 44th birthday, Chris Hazencomb was taken off life support and died, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Maryanne Hazencomb, his mother, told the newspaper that her son died as he saved one of his friends in the shooting.
“He evidently saved her from getting hit so she could raise her two boys with her husband,” she said.
From California, Hazencomb worked as a cashier at a Walmart Neighborhood Market and was known to bring coffee to his coworkers.
“There isn’t anything he wouldn’t do for a friend of coworker,” fellow employee Kelly Dye said.
“He was a very kind man that everyone loved dearly. He will be missed by many,” a GoFundMe page said.
Teresa Nicol Kimura
Teresa Nicol Kimura – who went by Nicol – attended the country music festival with her close friends. And when she was shot, one jumped on top of her to shield her from additional bullets, Ryan Miller, a pastor at For His Glory Community Church, wrote on Facebook.
Tragically, Kimura, 38, died in the attack.
"If you didn’t know her, I wish you could have because your life would be different too."
“Nicol’s heart was bigger than most human beings, her spirit was infectious, and she just had a way of making every time we gathered an awesome one,” Miller said in a tribute to her on Facebook, which included photos from the festival. “If you didn’t know her, I wish you could have because your life would be different too.”
Miller told the Orange County Register that Kimura had “the most infectious laugh and personality.”
“She was always loving and considerate to her friends. Her spirit will live on with us forever,” he said.
Kimura worked for the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration in Irvine.
Carly Kreibaum, 33, traveled to Las Vegas with friends from the small town of Sutherland, Iowa.
Along with her husband and two small children, Kreibaum lived on a farm outside of town, according to the Des Moines Register.
“I still think there is a certain amount of shock. It happened to a young mother whose husband is a lifetime member of the community,” Dan Wetherell, a cook at a local restaurant, told the newspaper. “She was a kind, loving mother, just working and taking care of her children.”
Kreibaum worked at a Walmart in a nearby town, the Des Moines Register reported.
Security State Bank in Sutherland announced on Facebook that it has opened a benefit account for the family.
Hours before the shooting, Kreibaum uploaded a photo from the Venetian hotel in Las Vegas. The first comments on the photo are from friends asking if she’s safe and offering prayers. The latest comments are from strangers across the country giving condolences to the family.
Patricia "Pati" Mestas
Pati Mestas was a mother to three, grandmother to eight and a great-grandmother to one. She was also remembered as vocal Christian who was “attentive and comforting” in times of need, according to the Press Enterprise.
Mestas, 67, loved country music, particularly Brooks and Dunn. But when Jason Aldean performed, she was standing close to the stage.
“She loved country concerts. That was her thing. She went to almost every country show in driving distance,” Mestas’ longtime friend Isa Bahu told the newspaper.
Bahu said he met Mestas more than a decade ago when he was dating one of her friends. Since then, the two became close.
“She was a bright spirit. She was an amazing woman,” Bahu said. “She was a good person. She had a good heart.”
Tom Smith, a cousin, recalled Mestas being “very outgoing” when the family gathered every summer for a two week reunion. Smith said he thought of Mestas as an “ideal cousin” and “role model.”
“She’s very likeable, very outgoing,” Smith said. “Focused on family and very sensitive to other people’s concerns or problems or issues. She was genuinely a very nice person to have a conversation with and to share both fortunate and unfortunate events.”
Carrie Parsons was from Bainbridge, Washington.
Friends told KOMO-TV that Parsons enjoyed country music and attending festivals, just like the Route 91 Harvest event.
“She was always having a good time – always was dancing and singing and made sure everyone had a good time as well,” Laura Cooper, a friend, told the news station. Cooper said that when she heard about the shooting, she immediately reached out to Parsons through text, Facebook and Snapchat messages – but didn’t receive a reply.
Carolyn Farmer, who said she was a “good friend” of Parsons, shared a screenshot of what she said was Parsons’ last Facebook post to country singer Eric Church’s page.
‘I feel peace knowing she was living life until her last moments, loving country music,” Farmer said, adding that Parsons was a fan of Church.
Brett Schwanbeck, 61, loved the outdoors and taking his family on trips. He died from a head wound a few days after the attack, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
“He liked to be where no one else was at. He liked to get lost out in the middle of the woods,” his son Shawn Schwanbeck told the newspaper. “My dad was the funnest guy in the world to be around.”
He recalled going on family vacations with his father to Florida, Arkansas and Colorado. In Colorado, the family went white water rafting and fishing and saw a bear wander through their campsite.
“That was one of the coolest experiences of my childhood,” the son said.
Carla Van Hoosen described her uncle as the “fun one to hang out with.” She said he was compassionate and “would drive 500 miles if you needed him to help you.”
Schwanbeck was reportedly with his fiancée, Anna Orozco, at the concert when the shooting began. She was not harmed in the attack, Shawn Schwanbeck told the Review-Journal.
Candice Bowers, a single mother, didn’t often take vacations, but on the last weekend of September, she drove to Las Vegas from California with a friend.
Bowers, 40, was separated from her friend during the chaos of the shooting. Later, her friends and family would learn that she did not survive.
Bowers was the mother of two children, Kurtis and Katie, and had adopted her 2-year-old niece just a few months ago, according to the Orange County Register.
Patricia Zecker, Bowers’ grandmother, said she was “generous” and “never had any support, except herself.”
The Pacifica High School football team will wear wristbands and special helmet decal to honor Bowers, coach Vinnie Lopez told the Register. Katie is a team manager.
And before a volleyball game, members of Pacifica High’s and Tustin High’s teams lined up around the court, held hands and paid tribute.
Laura Shipp moved to Las Vegas about five years ago in order to be closer to her 23-year-old son, a Marine reservist. She attended the festival with her son, boyfriend and friends.
Shipp, 50, was a single mother who raised her son alone “since the beginning of time,” Steve Shipp, her brother, told the Ventura County Star.
“He just lost the most important person in his life,” he said. Corey Shipp, her son, works at a Chili’s restaurant in Las Vegas, according to a GoFundMe page.
"He just lost the most important person in his life."
In the aftermath of the shooting, Corey Shipp, pleaded with those on Facebook to “please keep my mother in your prayers for a little longer” as he was trying to locate her. Since then, he’s changed his profile and cover photos to pictures of him with his mother.
“She was a very happy person. She was well liked by lots and lots of people and was pretty easy to get along with,” Steve Shipp told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Shipp worked at Sierra Air Conditioning in Las Vegas. The company shared the GoFundMe account on its Facebook page.
“Laura’s infectious smile will be missed each and every day at the office,” the company said. “She was a die-hard [Los Angeles] Dodgers fan with an unmatched work ethic and the ability to make anyone and everyone laugh.”
Truckee Meadows Community College student Austin Meyer was among those killed at the country music festival, according to the Clark County coroner.
Meyer, 24, attended the festival with his fiancée, Dana Getreu, as a surprise for his birthday, KSBW-TV reported.
He attended TMCC in Reno, Nev., as part of a two-year automotive program, SFGate.com reported. He grew up in Marina, Calif., and worked as a driver for Main Event Transportation, a car service company.
“Students and staff at TMCC send their most earnest and heartfelt thoughts and condolences to Austin’s family and friends, and to Dana,” TMCC said on Facebook. We are so very, very sorry.”
Veronica Meyer, his sister, told KSBW that he was “ambitious, smart and hard working.”
“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. “He was passionate about cars, loved sports – basketball in particular – and his favorite team [was] the Boston Celtics.”
Veronica Meyer said her brother had hoped to open an auto repair shop when he graduated from college. He also was “excited to get married and start a family,” she said.
A friend, Chris Elliot, posted a touching tribute to Meyer on Instagram.
“I still can’t believe you’re gone. I would take your place if I could,” Elliot said. “I love you so much and thank you for always being the great person you were.”
For those looking to get in contact with their loved ones, please call 1-800-536-9488.
Fox News' Cristina Corbin, Nicole Darrah, Lukas Mikelionis, Paulina Dedaj, Kaitlyn Schallhorn and The Associated Press contributed.