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Grill master, sky diver among dead in Las Vegas shooting
October 3, 2017 / 6:13 PM / 19 days ago

Grill master, sky diver among dead in Las Vegas shooting

(Reuters) - A barbecue grill master and sky-diving mother from California, a youth wrestling coach from Pennsylvania and a commercial fisherman from Alaska were among at least 59 people killed by a gunman who opened fire on a Las Vegas country music festival before killing himself.

Victim of the October 1, 2017 mass shooting at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Sonny Melton, is seen in this undated photo with his wife Heather Melton obtained by Reuters October 3, 2017. Social media/Handout via REUTERS

The following describes some of the victims:

HANNAH AHLERS

Hannah Ahlers, a 35-year-old mother of three from Murrieta, California, was in a group of sky divers and enjoyed the outdoors, the Los Angeles Times reported. She studied at Crafton Hills College and went to Redlands East Valley High School, according to her Facebook page.

DORENE ANDERSON

Dorene Anderson, 49, a stay-at-home mother who lived in Anchorage, Alaska, attended the concert with her daughters, NBC affiliate KTUU in Anchorage said. Anderson was the treasurer for an Anchorage-based nonprofit that supports local hockey teams, ABC News reported, citing Anderson’s friend Marie English. English told ABC that Anderson was “very friendly and genuine” and had a “kind heart.”

CARRIE BARNETTE

Carrie Barnette, 34, of Riverside, California, worked at Disney California Adventure Park as part of the culinary team, the Orange County Register reported. “A senseless, horrific, act, and a terrible loss for so many. We mourn a wonderful member of the Disney family: Carrie Barnette. Tragic,” Robert Iger, chairman and CEO of the Walt Disney Company, said on Twitter.

JACK BEATON

Jack Beaton, of Bakersfield, California, died while saving his wife during the shooting, 23ABC News reported. Beaton worked as a grill master at a barbecue restaurant, a statement from the restaurant to the TV station said. Beaton’s son confirmed his death to the station.

STEVE BERGER

Steve Berger, a native of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, who lived in Minnesota, had been celebrating his 44th birthday with a group of six friends in Las Vegas over the weekend, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. Berger’s friends called his parents early Monday and said he was shot, and his family received confirmation on Tuesday, the newspaper said. “While trying to resuscitate him, (the group) was forced to evacuate,” Berger’s sister, Christine Moore, told the paper. Moore said her brother, a father of three who worked as a financial adviser, was fun- loving and hardworking, the paper said.

DENISE BURDITUS

Denise Burditus, 50, of Martinsburg, West Virginia, attended the concert with her husband, Tony, WVVA TV in West Virginia reported. She posted a photograph on Facebook just minutes before the gunman opened fire, the NBC affiliate said.

SANDY CASEY

Sandy Casey was a special education teacher at Manhattan Beach Middle School in California, KGTV in San Diego said. Casey was among a group of Manhattan Beach Unified School District staff, the ABC affiliate reported.

THOMAS DAY JR.

Thomas Day Jr., 54, of Riverside, California, a homebuilder, went to the festival with his four children, who are in their 20s and 30s, the Los Angeles Times reported. “He was the best dad. That’s why the kids were with him,” his father, Thomas Day Sr., told the newspaper. “They’re crushed.”

CHRISTIANA DUARTE

Christiana Duarte, 21, had been reported missing but was confirmed dead by her family, NBC Los Angeles said on Twitter. Duarte, of Redondo Beach, California, had begun work as a fan service associate for the Los Angeles Kings, her first full-time job since graduating from the University of Arizona with a degree in business marketing, the Los Angeles Times reported.

STACEE ETCHEBER

Stacee Etcheber was a mother of two and hair stylist in Marin County, a San Francisco police statement said. “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,” police said.

DANA GARDNER

Dana Gardner was an employee for California’s San Bernardino County for 26 years and most recently worked as a deputy recorder, the San Bernardino Sun reported.

ANGIE GOMEZ

Angie Gomez was a 2015 alumna of Riverside Polytechnic High School PTSA in Riverside, California, the school said on Facebook. “She will always be loved and endeared by our Poly Family,” the school said.

CHARLESTON HARTFIELD

Charleston Hartfield, 34, was the off-duty Las Vegas police officer among those killed, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported, citing people who knew the officer. “He was probably busy helping others,” Hartfield’s friend, Troy Rhett, told the newspaper. “I don’t know a better man than Charles.” The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, which did not identify the fallen officer, reported the death on Twitter.

JENNIFER TOPAZ IRVINE

Jennifer Topaz Irvine was a family law attorney based in San Diego, according to CBS News. A coworker and friend identified Irvine as a victim to a CBS correspondent.

JESSICA KLYMCHUK

Jessica Klymchuk, 28, of Valleyview, Alberta, was a librarian and the single mother of four children, Canada’s Globe and Mail reported. It said she was visiting Las Vegas with her fiance. “She’s a very good mother. She’s raised four beautiful children,” Klymchuk’s grandmother Margaret told the paper.

RHONDA LEROCQUE

Rhonda LeRocque, of Tewksbury, Massachusetts, was a wife and mother, devout Jehovah’s Witness and worked for a Cambridge design firm, the Boston Globe reported. LeRocque attended the concert with her husband, Jason and their 7-year-old daughter, who were not injured, the newspaper said. “Rhonda would do everything to be the best mom and the best wife she could be,” LeRocque’s sister, Jennifer Zelenski, told the paper.

VICTOR LINK

Victor Link, 55, of Aliso Viejo, California, was also killed in the shooting, 23ABC News reported, citing family.

JORDAN MCILDOON

Jordan McIldoon, 23, of Maple Ridge, British Columbia, was also killed, said the premier of British Columbia, John Horgan. McIldoon was a heavy-duty mechanic apprentice and about to start trade school, CBC News reported, which said he was attending the festival with his girlfriend. McIldoon died in the arms of a woman named Heather Gooze, CBC said.

KELSEY MEADOWS

Kelsey Meadows, 27, was a 2007 graduate of and substitute teacher for California’s Taft Union High School District, Superintendent Blanca Cavazos said. Meadows earned a bachelor’s degree from Fresno State university and had served as a regular substitute since 2012, Cavazos said. “Kelsey was smart, compassionate and kind,” Taft Union High School principal Mary Alice Finn said. “Words cannot adequately capture the sorrow felt by her students, colleagues and friends.” Meadows lived in Kern County, California, according to 23ABC News in Bakersfield.

CALLA MEDIG

Victim of the October 1, 2017 mass shooting at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Melissa Ramirez, is seen in this undated social media photo obtained by Reuters October 3, 2017. Social media/Handout via REUTERS

Calla Medig, a restaurant worker from Jasper, Alberta, in Canada, was described by her friends as a kindhearted young woman in her 20s, CBC News and Canada-based Global News reported. Medig attended the Las Vegas music festival the past three years, her mother, Louise Hayes, told the Global News. Hayes said the family was notified of her death by Medig’s roommate, who was at the concert with her, the Global News said. She was described as a “bright, fun-loving spirit who had a huge heart.”

SONNY MELTON

Sonny Melton, 29, of Big Sandy, Tennessee, saved his wife, Heather Melton, just before he was shot dead, she told WSMV-TV in Nashville. “He grabbed me and started running when I felt him get shot in the back,” she told the NBC affiliate. Sonny Melton worked as a registered nurse and Heather Melton is an orthopedic surgeon at Henry County Medical Center, a statement from the center said.

ADRIAN MURFITT

Adrian Murfitt, 35, was a commercial fisherman in Anchorage, Alaska, the Alaska Dispatch News reported, which said he was at the concert with his best friend, Brian MacKinnon. The pair was taking a picture and a bullet went through Murfitt’s neck, MacKinnon told the paper.

RACHAEL PARKER

Rachael Parker was a records technician with the Manhattan Beach Police Department in California, where she worked for 10 years, the police department said in a statement. Parker attended the concert with three other off-duty police department employees, police said.

JENNY PARKS

Jenny Parks was a teacher with Westside Union School District in California, KABC-TV in Los Angeles said. “She touched many lives,” a GoFundMe page set up for her said. “She leaves behind her husband, Bobby and young children, Bryce and Leah.”

JOHN PHIPPEN

John Phippen, of Santa Clarita, California, was a father of five, grandfather of one and owned a remodeling and repair company, KHTS AM 1220 radio station reported. He attended the concert with his son Travis, who was shot in the arm, the station said. “If you didn’t know John you surely missed out. He had a heart that was larger than life and a personality to match,” a GoFundMe page said. “Even if you were someone he had never met before but were in need, he was there for you.”

MELISSA RAMIREZ

Melissa Ramirez, 26, grew up in California’s Antelope Valley, her cousin, Fabiola Farnetti, told the New York Times. She attended California State University at Bakersfield, majored in business and worked for a car insurance company. Ramirez was the daughter of Mexican immigrants who became U.S. citizens, the newspaper said.

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QUINTON ROBBINS

Quinton Robbins, 20, of Henderson, Nevada, studied at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and worked in local government, Newsweek reported. His aunt, Kilee Wells Sanders, confirmed his death in a Facebook post: “He was the most kind and loving soul. Everyone who met him loved him. His contagious laugh and smile. He was truly an amazing person. He will be missed by so many.”

CAMERON ROBINSON

Cameron Robinson, 28, was a legal records specialist with the city of Las Vegas who was fatally shot in the neck while attending the music festival with his boyfriend, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. He lived near St. George, Utah and commuted to Las Vegas for work, his sister, Meghan Ervin, told the newspaper.

ROCIO GUILLEN ROCHA

Rocio Guillen Rocha, 40, of Eastvale, California, was still on maternity leave from her job as manager of pizza restaurant after giving birth to her fourth child six weeks ago, National Public Radio reported. Her fiance’s sister, Nikki Stowers, told NPR that Rocha was struck in the thigh by a bullet and subsequently died at the hospital. “She was that type of mom who just loved holding her kids,” Stowers said. “It’s so unfair that she’s had her life taken away.”

TARA ROE SMITH

Tara Roe Smith, 34, of Okotoks, Alberta, was a model and mother of two young sons, the Canadian Press reported. Her aunt Val Rodgers told the news outlet that her niece was a “beautiful soul. ...She was a wonderful mother and our family is going to miss her dearly.” Roe Smith was at the festival with her husband, Zach, when the couple got separated during the shooting. She also worked as an educational assistant at a local school district.

LISA ROMERO-MUNIZ

Lisa Romero-Muniz was a secretary at Miyamura High School in Gallup, New Mexico, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported. In her most recent role, Romero-Muniz offered encouragement and support to students during disciplinary proceedings, the newspaper said. She was described as outgoing, kind and considerate, it said.

CHRIS ROYBAL

Chris Roybal, 28, of Corona, California, was a Navy veteran who served in Afghanistan. He was shot in the chest, his wife told Reuters. Dixie Roybal described her husband as haunted by his experiences in Afghanistan, but an adventurous spirit who found joy in life. “He was always going somewhere, doing something, calling friends,” she said. “He just loved music in general. He was always singing something. He was the best at Karaoke.” One of the many tattoos on his arm celebrated the city of Las Vegas, where he once lived. After the military, he worked at a gym.

BAILEY SCHWEITZER

Bailey Schweitzer, 20, was from Bakersfield, California, her brother told the Bakersfield Californian newspaper.

ERICK SILVA

Erick Silva, 22, of Las Vegas, was working as a security guard at the music festival when he was shot in the head, his uncle, Rob Morgan, told the Washington Post.

SUSAN SMITH

Susan Smith, 53, was a school office manager in Simi Valley, California, the Ventura County Star reported, citing a school district representative. Smith was an ardent country music fan and worked at an elementary school for three years, the newspaper said.

BRENNAN STEWART

Brennan Stewart, 30, of Las Vegas, was an aspiring musician, his girlfriend, Gia Iantuono, wrote on a Facebook message to the Washington Post. He worked for his father’s construction business, said Iantuono, who was wounded in the rampage. She called Stewart “a light that came into my life when I needed one.”

NEYSA TONKS

Neysa Tonks, of Las Vegas, who worked at Technologent, an Irvine, California-based technology company, was also among the victims, the Los Angeles Times said. She was the mother of three boys, according to a GoFundMe campaign created by Technologent. “Neysa brought joy, happiness, fun and laughter to so many of us. The senseless tragedy in Las Vegas Sunday unnessarily(sic) taken her from our community,” the GoFundMe page said.

KURT VON TILLOW

Kurt Von Tillow, 55, of Cameron Park, California was at the concert with several family members, Sacramento television station KCRA reported. His sister and niece were wounded in the shooting, but are expected to recover, the station said. His wife, daughter, and son-in-law were not injured. His brother-in-law, Mark Carson, said Von Tillow “was the most patriotic person you’ve ever met. ... 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.”

MICHELLE VO

Michelle Vo, 32, of Los Angeles, was attending her first country music concert, according to the San Jose Mercury News. Vo attended high school in San Jose and graduated in 2007 from the University of California, Davis with a communications degree, the school said in a statement. She worked for New York Life Insurance Co in its Glendale, California, office where, ”she was recognized for her ambition and work ethic,” university chancellor Gary May said.

BILL WOLFE JR.

Bill Wolfe Jr. was a youth wrestling coach from Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, who attended the concert with his wife Robyn. She survived the attack, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette newspaper reported. His death was confirmed by the Shippensburg police on its Facebook page. “It is with the most of broken hearts, the families of Bill Wolfe Jr. and his wife Robyn share that Bill has been confirmed to be among the deceased as a result of the mass attack in Las Vegas,” the posting said.

Compiled by Suzannah Gonzales in Chicago, Keith Coffman in Denver and Peter Szekely in New York; Editing by Grant McCool and Cynthia Osterman

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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