The Las Vegas Shooting Victims: Beyond the Names – New York Times

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Mourners gathered for a vigil at City Hall in Las Vegas on Monday.

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Jim Wilson/The New York Times

Read the latest on the Las Vegas shooting with Tuesday’s live updates.

The evening had begun in celebration. Thousands gathered for another night of song at the long-anticipated country music festival. Some had driven or flown to Las Vegas for the three days of shows from faraway places — Tennessee, California, Alaska. And in the days and weeks before the festival, some had excitedly posted messages on social media, counting down until its start.

But when the gunfire — sudden and rapid — finally ceased on Sunday night, at least 59 people had been killed and hundreds more were injured. The attack at a music festival in Las Vegas was one of the deadliest mass shootings in American history.

The authorities have not yet identified all of the people who perished, but relatives, colleagues and friends have shared memories of some of them. Here are the stories of the people who died. This article will be updated.

Adrian Murfitt

Adrian Murfitt, 35, had been working 16-hour days all summer as a commercial salmon fisherman in his home state of Alaska. It was time for a break.

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Adrian Murfitt in a photo provided by his mother Avonna Murfitt.

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via Associated Press

He gathered up two of his childhood friends and booked tickets for a country music festival, just as he had done last year, according to his sister, Shannon Gothard.

“He had such a great time when he went before, and he wanted to treat himself for a successful fishing season,” Ms. Gothard said from Anchorage.

Mr. Murfitt was an Alaskan to the core. Since he was a toddler, he loved playing hockey, she said; he could fix almost anything mechanical; he was devoted to his dog, Paxson, a Western Siberian Laika.

Ms. Gothard said the family had pieced together her brother’s last minutes from Brian MacKinnon, a friend who was with him at the concert on Sunday night. “He was just having a good time, enjoying himself and got shot in the neck,” she said of her brother. A woman standing next to Mr. Murfitt was shot in the head, Mr. MacKinnon told the family. He watched as medics tried to resuscitate Mr. Murfitt, though the medics told Mr. MacKinnon to leave the scene for his own safety.

“Sadly, he died in my arms,” Mr. MacKinnon wrote on Facebook. “I don’t really know what else to say at this time. I’m really sorry.”

Sonny Melton

When Sonny Melton and his wife, Heather Gulish Melton, heard the sound of gunshots in Las Vegas on Sunday night, he grabbed her and began to run.

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Sonny Melton and his wife, Heather Gulish Melton.

“I felt him get shot in the back,” Ms. Gulish Melton told WCYB, a television station in northeast Tennessee. “I want everyone to know what a kindhearted, loving man he was, but at this point, I can barely breathe.”

Mr. Melton, 29, was described in Facebook tributes as a kind spirit, a registered nurse who worked for much of 2016 in the surgical unit at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital in Jackson, Tenn.

“He was a very kind, compassionate, genuine person who lived life to the fullest, and he took great care of our patients,” said Amy Garner, a spokeswoman for the hospital. Union University, a college in Jackson, Tenn., said Mr. Melton was a 2015 graduate and worked in the emergency department at Henry County Medical Center.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, a White House spokeswoman, said Mr. Melton and his wife had been married only a year and had traveled from Tennessee for the music festival.

“When the bullets began raining down from above, Sonny shielded her from danger, selflessly giving up his life to save hers,” Ms. Sanders said on Monday.

Susan Smith

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Susan Smith.

Susan Smith, 53, was a lover of country music, a devoted mother to a son and daughter, a wife and a popular office manager at an elementary school in Simi Valley, Calif.

“A wonderful person,” said her father, Tom Rementer, through tears.

She had gone to Las Vegas with friends, where she was killed during the attack near the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, said Jake Smith, a spokeswoman for the district. Her friends survived the shooting.

Jordan McIldoon

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Jordan McIldoon.

Jordan McIldoon, a 23-year-old mechanic from Maple Ridge, British Columbia, was among the dead, a family member said. His parents described him to CBC News in Canada as outdoorsy, about to begin trade school, and on the trip to Las Vegas with his girlfriend. They were expecting him to return home on Monday evening.

“We only had one child,” they told CBC News. “We just don’t know what to do.”

Lisa Romero-Muniz

Last year, Lisa Romero-Muniz’s husband, Chris, forgot their wedding anniversary. This year he was determined to make it up to her.

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Lisa Romero-Muniz.

So he made a grand gesture, planning a four-day weekend in Las Vegas and buying tickets to see her favorite country singer, Jason Aldean. Mr. Muniz, who worked long hours at a refinery, and Ms. Romero-Muniz, a high school secretary in Gallup, N.M., left on Thursday for Las Vegas, more than a six-hour drive away.

“She was beyond excited,” said Rosie Fernandez, her friend and supervisor at the high school where they worked. “For her husband to remember her anniversary and do all of that, this was a big thing for her.”

Ms. Romero-Muniz’s death, confirmed by officials at the school where she worked, left her colleagues and community shaken, her co-workers said.

Born and raised in the small city of Gallup, she was a mother of three grown children and a secretary at Miyamura High School, where she was responsible for disciplining students who got into trouble. Ms. Romero-Muniz had a warm personality and a big laugh, always teasing her co-workers, Ms. Fernandez said.

“We were known as the two loudmouths of the office,” Ms. Fernandez said. “She knew 90 percent of the kids at this school. She would talk to them like she was talking to her own children. I’d hear her saying, ‘I know you can do better than this.’ ”

On Monday morning, administrators put up posters around the school so that students could write on them how they were feeling. A candlelight memorial is planned for Monday evening.

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Jessica Klymchuk.

Jessica Klymchuk

Another Canadian was among the dead. Jessica Klymchuk, 28, from the province of Alberta, had been visiting Las Vegas with her boyfriend, The Globe and Mail reported. She was a school librarian, a bus driver and the mother of four children.

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Quinton Robbins.

Quinton Robbins

An aunt of Quinton Robbins, 20, who worked as a recreation assistant for the city of Henderson, Nev., wrote on Facebook that her nephew was among the dead.

“I can’t say enough good about this sweet soul,” the aunt, Kilee Wells Sanders, wrote of Mr. Robbins. “Everyone who met him loved him. His contagious laugh and smile.”

She also asked for prayers for Mr. Robbins’s family, adding: “Please also respect their privacy as this is a devastating loss that is incredibly painful for the families.”

Rachael Parker

Rachael Parker, a police records technician from Manhattan Beach, Calif., was shot while attending Sunday’s concert in Las Vegas, and later died in the hospital, the Manhattan Beach Police Department confirmed in a statement on Monday. Ms. Parker, who worked at the department for 10 years, was off duty when she was shot.

Sandy Casey

Over the course of a carefree weekend in Las Vegas, they kept bumping into one another around the festival: at least a half dozen teachers, principals and school psychologists who worked for the Manhattan Beach School District in Southern California, taking a brief escape from their responsibilities to listen to live music.

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Sandy Casey.

The school district said on Monday that Sandy Casey, 35, a special-education teacher originally from Vermont, was killed in the shootings. The other staff members from the district were physically unharmed.

Ms. Casey taught middle school and had worked for the district for nine years, an energetic person who delighted in her students, said Mike Matthews, the superintendent.

“She was a person who brings light wherever she is,” he said. “She has a classroom full of light and hope and caring.”

Ms. Casey’s fiancé, Chris Willemse, an instructional assistant for the district, was with Ms. Casey in Las Vegas. He wrote on Facebook: “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!”


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