Sonny Melton and his wife, Heather, were listening to Jason Aldean sing country tunes at a Las Vegas music festival Sunday night when a noise rang out — the sounds of gunfire.
Melton, a 29-year-old nurse in Nashville, sprang into action, shielding Heather from the barrage of bullets that rained down on the crowd of more than 22,000 people. Heather was one of the lucky survivors. Melton was not.
"At this point, I'm in complete disbelief and despair. 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," she said in a statement to NBC affiliate WCYB.
Melton is one of at least 58 people who were killed in the shooting, which is now the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. More than 500 concertgoers, hailing from different cities all over the country and world, were injured in the shooting at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival. One victim was a middle school special education teacher from southern California. Another victim was a beloved secretary in New Mexico.
Information about the victims of the Las Vegas massacre slowly emerged Monday as families and friends learned the devastating news. Authorities are still investigating how the attack unfolded, but police identified 64-year-old Stephen Paddock as the lone gunman behind the rampage. Paddock opened fire on the Route 91 concert from his hotel room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, where he had been staying for days. When a SWAT team swarmed his room, they found Paddock dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Authorities said they later seized at least 17 guns from the room.
The Clark County Coroner’s office on Thursday released the official list of the 58 people who were killed in Sunday night’s mass shooting in Las Vegas. Here are their names.
Hannah Ahlers, 35
Hannah Ahlers, a mother of three from Murrieta, Calif., is remembered as part of a skydiving community who enjoyed both outdoor thrills and simple pleasures, reports the Los Angeles Times. "She never came across with the diva mentality she easily could have had. She was a devoted mother and wife," friend Sunni Almond told the Times.
Brian Ahlers, her husband of 17 years, told CNN that she was “shot in the head while dancing” with him at the Route 91 Festival. “She was a full-time house wife and mommy and she was amazing at it,” he said. “Very active in moms groups and our daughter’s volleyball team. She wasn’t too good for anybody. Beautiful inside and out.”
Heather Alvarado, 35
Heather Alvarado, 35, of Utah, was the happiest when she was with her family, especially her three children, according to her husband, Albert. “She would do ANYTHING for them,” Albert said in a statement issued through his employer, the Cedar City Fire Department. “She always saw the good in others. She spent her whole life serving others in her family and community.” Albert said his wife also loved traveling with her family, even if they were just day trips.
Dorene Anderson, 49
Dorene Anderson, of Alaska, was the “most amazing wife, mother and person this world ever had,” her family said in a statement. "Due to this horrific and terrible situation, our family is dealing with a great loss,” the statement said. “We are so grateful and lucky for the time that we did have with her.” Anderson was devoted to her family. She also loved hockey, according to Marie English, secretary of a local nonprofit hockey organization. "She was friendly to everybody. She had a heart of gold. She was just an all-around, wonderful Alaskan," English told the Alaska Dispatch News. Anderson’s longtime friend D.J. Fauske told the newspaper that Anderson was a “saint of a person.” “I've watched her daughters grow up to become amazing women and I know they will continue their mom's lasting legacy,” Fauske said.
Carrie Barnette, 34
Disney employee Carrie Barnette was among those killed in Sunday's mass shooting, Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Robert Iger confirmed in a statement Monday evening. "Carrie Barnette had been a member of the Disney California Adventure culinary team for ten years and was beloved by her friends and colleagues," Iger wrote. "Our thoughts are with her family, along with our support, during this incredibly difficult time."
Jessica Milam, another Disney employee, was seriously injured in Las Vegas, Iger said. In a separate Twitter post, he described the shooting as a "senseless, horrific, act, and a terrible loss for so many."
Jack Beaton, 54
When bullets starting raining down from above, Jack Beaton leaned his body over his wife, Laurie, and wrapped his arms around her in full protection. “He told me, ‘Get down, get down, get down.’ He told me, ‘I love you, Laurie’ and his arms were around me and his body just went heavy on me,” Laurie told the Associated Press. The two had traveled from Bakersfield, Calif., to Las Vegas to celebrate their 23rd wedding anniversary at the Route 91 country music festival. The last thing Beaton ever did was save his wife’s life. “I screamed his name and he wasn’t answering me. There was a lot of blood,” Laurie said. Beaton, a 54-year-old construction worker, had been shot and later died. He leaves behind a 20-year-old son and an 18-year-old daughter. “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,” Laurie said.
Steven Berger, 44
Steven Berger, of Minnesota, was celebrating his 44th birthday with friends at the Las Vegas music festival when he was shot and killed. The financial advisor, who loved country music, leaves behind his three children and his devastated parents. “He’s our only son,” Steven’s father, Richard Berger, told the Associated Press. “It’s terrible.” After spending more than 24 hours uncertain of his son’s fate, Richard Berger said the coroner’s office in Las Vegas delivered the news Tuesday afternoon. “At least now we know,” Richard Berger said. “Now we got busy things to do with three grandchildren.”
Candice Bowers, 40
Candice Bowers was a single mother of three, who had recently grown her family by adopting a 2-year-old, relatives told the Orange County Register. Bowers, 40, was a hardworking restaurant waitress who always managed to take care of her entire family on her own, Bowers’ grandmother, Patricia Zacker, told the newspaper. “She never had any support, except herself,” Zacker said. Bowers’ family had encouraged her to have some fun and go with a friend to the musical festival in Las Vegas. But she never made it out of the venue alive. Zacker remembered her granddaughter for her smile and big heart. “She was a generous girl,” she said.
Denise Burditus, 50
Denise Burditus of Martinsburg, W.Va., was a grandmother who attended the festival with her husband, Tony. “It saddens me to say that I lost my wife of 32 years, a mother of two, soon to be grandmother of five this evening in the Las Vegas shooting,” Tony wrote on his Facebook page, according to MetroNews, a radio station in West Virginia. “Denise passed in my arms. I LOVE YOU BABE.” Tony posted a picture of the two of them kissing on his Facebook page on Monday.
Sandy Casey, 34
A special education teacher at Manhattan Beach Middle School in southern California, Sandy Casey had a demonstrable impact on her students, their families and the school community, Manhattan Beach Unified School District Superintendent Mike Matthews said in a statement. Casey worked at the middle school for almost a decade. "She is loved by students and colleagues alike and will be remembered for her sense of humor, her passion for her work, her devotion to her students, and her commitment to continuing her own learning and to taking on whatever new projects came her way," Matthews said. "We lost a spectacular teacher who devoted her life to helping some of our most needy students.”
Andrea Castilla, 28
Andrea Castilla was celebrating her 28th birthday in Las Vegas with family when terror struck. She was holding hands with her sisters watching the show when gunshots and yells of “Duck!” broke out, reports the Associated Press, citing the family’s GoFundMe page.
“Sadly, Andrea was shot in the head.” wrote her aunt Marina Parker. Castilla was carried by family members to a nearby highway, where a truck drove them to a hospital.
She died after arriving at the hospital. The family said that due to a mix up with another patient, they were told of her death hours later.
“Our entire family is heartbroken,” Parker wrote on Facebook.
Denise Cohen, 58
Denise Cohen was supposed to return to California High School in Ramon, Calif., where she graduated in 1977, for a reunion in mid-October. The school’s alumni association confirmed her death Tuesday on its Facebook page. “She was an amazing, vibrant, positive classmate and friend,” wrote her friend and fellow graduate Tina Lippis-Mancebo.
Cohen died with her boyfriend, 56-year-old Derrick “Bo” Taylor, the AP reports. Her son, Jeff Rees, recalls her laughter, as well as how she made people around her feel their best.
“When she would take me to the movies as a kid, I was just waiting to hear her laugh because it would just crack me up,” Rees told AP. “I feel sorry for all of the people in the world who never got a chance to meet her.”
Austin Davis, 29
In Riverside, Calif., loved ones of 29-year-old Austin Davis were anxiously waiting for Davis to turn up somehow after he attended the musical festival in Las Vegas and went missing after the shooting. They eventually learned he never made it out alive. “I can't believe this happened. You didn't deserve this,” his girlfriend, Aubree Hennigan, wrote on Facebook.
Thomas Day Jr., 54
Thomas Day Jr.’s four adult children loved being with him. All four, who had joined him for the music festival, are now left grieving after the 54-year-old California home builder was gunned down, their grandfather told the Los Angeles Times. “He was the best dad. That’s why the kids were with him,” Thomas Day Sr. said. “His kids are with me right now. They’re crushed.”
Christiana Duarte, 21
Christiana Duarte had recently graduated from the University of Arizona with a business marketing degree, according to the Los Angeles Times. The 21-year-old was working for the Los Angeles Kings hockey team when she was gunned down during the Route 91 music festival, family members told NBC Los Angeles. She was among those declared missing after the massacre.
Stacee Rodrigues Etcheber, 50
Stacee Rodrigues Etcheber was enjoying the Las Vegas music festival with her husband of 13 years, Vinnie Etcheber, a San Francisco police officer. When bullets rang out, Vinnie instructed his wife to run for safety while he sprang into action, helping victims, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The two got separated, and Stacee was later shot and killed, family members said, according to the Chronicle. Stacee Rodrigues Etcheber, 50, was a longtime hair stylist back home in California. Her brother-in-law, Al Etcheber, wrote on Facebook that Stacee leaves behind two children. Almost 24 hours earlier, Al Etcheber had posted a plea for people to help find Stacee, who was missing at the time.
Brian Fraser, 39
Brian Fraser was his stepson’s “rock” and “mentor” before a gunman ended his life. Nick Arellano, 25, told the Orange County Register how his father loved seeking thrills and adventures. Fraser, 39, enjoyed hunting, deep-sea fishing and snowboarding. He recently started learning how to fly airplanes, Arellano said. Fraser, of La Palma, Calif., leaves behind his wife and four children. “He helped anyone who asked. That’s why people loved and adored him,” Arellano said.
Keri Galvan, 31
Keri Galvan was fatally shot in the head, leaving behind her husband and their three children, who are between 2 and 10 years old, according to the Ventura County Star. Galvan, 31, of Thousand Oaks, Calif., was a cocktail server and a popular staple at a local steakhouse, where she had worked for almost a decade, the newspaper said. "She's always being there for everybody," her sister, Lindsey Poole, told the Star. "She never forgets anybody's special occasion. She's just constantly making sure everybody's OK."
Dana Gardner, 52
Dana Gardner, who had worked for San Bernardino County, Calif. for 26 years, died Monday after sustaining two gunshot wounds, the San Bernardino County Assessor/Recorder’s office said. “I am so very sorry to report that one of the Assessor/Recorder employees in attendance at the event was shot twice and, tragically, passed away this morning,” San Bernardino County Interim CEO Dena Smith said in an email to the Board of Supervisors, according to local media reports.
Angie Gomez, 20
Angie Gomez was a 2015 graduate from Riverside Polytechnic High School in Riverside, Calif., the school's PTSA confirmed in a Facebook post. "She will always be loved and endeared by our Poly Family," the post said.
Charleston Hartfield, 34
The off-duty Las Vegas police officer who was killed during the shooting, Charleston Hartfield was a youth football coach, husband and father, according friends of his who spoke to the Las Vegas Review-Journal and other media outlets. “Coach Hartfield touched many lives both on and off the field,” his youth football team, called the Henderson Cowboys, wrote in a Facebook post. “He was a great man who we all lost way to early.”
Hartfield was also a published author, who wrote a memoir detailing his time working in law enforcement in Las Vegas, titled Memoirs of a Public Servant. It was published in July.
Chris Hazencomb, 44
Chris Hazencomb died shielding his best friend’s wife from a hail of bullets at the music festival in Las Vegas, according to his mother, Maryanne Hazencomb. She took her son off life support Monday morning after he was shot in the head, she told the Ventura County Star. "You don't expect your kid to go before you go," Maryanne Hazencomb said. Chris Hazencomb worked at the Walmart Neighborhood Market in Camarillo, Calif. He and his mother were very close. In the duffel bag he took to Las Vegas, there was a Route 91 T-shirt with a pink flamingo, according to the Star. It was a gift for his mother that he was never able to give her.
Jennifer Irvine, 42
Jennifer Irvine, a San Diego attorney, died in the shooting spree, her law firm, Fair Cadora, confirmed in an email to TIME on Tuesday.
Irvine reportedly spent her final moments singing, dancing and holding hands with her girlfriends. Kyle Krasta, the Sports Director for CBS News and longtime friend of Irvine’s, described her as “a shining light that will not be extinguished by a gutless coward with a gun,” in a Facebook post Monday. “You bought so much joy to others, including me,” he wrote. “You left this world singing & dancing, but far too soon.”
According to Irvine's profile in a directory of legal professionals, her interests included snowboarding and hot yoga. She had earned a black belt in the Korean martial art Taekwon-do.
Teresa "Nicol" Kimura, 38
Teresa “Nicol” Kimura was killed when the gunman opened fire for the second time. The thirty-eight-year-old from Placentia, Calif., was in Las Vegas with six friends, who all survived the shooting rampage, reports the Orange County Register.
“Her spirit was beautiful, her laugh was infectious, and she just had a way of making every time we gathered an awesome one,” said her friend Ryan Miller, a pastor who attended the music festival with Kimura.
Kimura worked in the Irvine office of California’s Department of Tax and Fee Administration. The press office of Gov. Jerry Brown acknowledged her death Thursday, tweeting: “Sad to learn @CDTFA employee Teresa Nicol Kimura was a victim of the Las Vegas shooting. We send sincere condolences to family & coworkers.”
Jessica Klymchuk, 34
Jessica Klymchuk, a Canadian resident, mother and wife, was also killed in the shooting. She was an educational assistant, bus driver and librarian at the St. Stephen's School in Valleyview, Alberta, according to CBC. "Our hearts go out to the loved ones of the Albertan who was killed in the Las Vegas attack," Alberta Premier Rachel Notely wrote on Twitter. "We are so sorry for your loss."
Carly Kreibaum, 33
Carly Kreibaum, 33, of northwestern Iowa, was killed in Sunday’s mass shooting in Las Vegas, her sister-in-law Sarah Rohwer told the Des Moines Register. Kreibaum had attended the music festival with two friends, who escaped unharmed after seeing Kreibaum get shot, according to the Sioux City Journal.
Rhonda LeRocque, 42
Grieving family members told the Boston Globe that Rhonda LeRocque from Tewksbury, Mass., was killed while attending Sunday’s open-air concert with her husband and young daughter.
“All I know is someone started shooting and people are running and she got shot in the head,” said Carol Marquis, LeRocque’s grandmother. “And we lost a dear, close, good person — one of the nicest people you will ever meet in your life.”
LeRoque worked for a design firm in Cambridge, Mass., and was active in her church, the Globe reports. Family members said her husband and daughter were unharmed.
Victor Link, 55
Loved ones remembered Victor Link as a music lover who held his family together. “He was the best of us,” Link’s sister, Lisa Hiestand, told the Washington Post. “He always had the time, no matter what, for family and friends.” Link — of Shafter, Calif. — loved music festivals and often traveled around the state with his fiancée to attend them, according to the Post.
Jordan McIldoon, 23
Jordan McIldoon was a mechanic apprentice from Maple Ridge, British Columbia in Canada. British Columbia Premier John Horgan said all government buildings in Victoria and Maple Ridge would fly their flags half mast in McIldoon's honor.
McIldoon’s last moments were spent with Heather Gooze, a Las Vegas bartender who was helping injured concertgoers. When a group of men came carrying McIldoon, Gooze stayed with him, she told CBC Radio. She “felt his fingers, like, tighten and then loosen,” she said, discovering that he had died. She then stayed with him, answering calls from his loved ones on his cell phone, and messaging his family members on Facebook.
“I would never want myself or one of my family members to be left alone,” Gooze told CBC Radio. “I needed to make sure that they could identify him, that they knew who he was, that they knew he has a girlfriend who was here.”
McIldoon’s girlfriend, Amber, was unharmed.
Kelsey Meadows, 27
Kelsey Meadows graduated from Taft Union High School District in 2007 and served as a substitute teacher there since 2012, according to district superintendent Blanca Cavazos. “Kelsey was smart, compassionate and kind. She had a sweet spirit and a love for children,” said Mary Alice Finn, principal of Taft Union High School. “Words cannot adequately capture the sorrow felt by her students, colleagues and friends in learning of her passing.”
Meadows graduated in 2011 with a B.A. in History from Fresno State University. History professor Lori Clune remembers her as “a gifted teacher who demonstrated a skill and passion for her chosen profession.” The university announced Tuesday that its flags will fly at half-staff on the day of her services, which has yet to be announced.
Calla Medig, 28
Calla Medig, who worked as a waitress in Edmonton, Canada, took time off her job to attend the Route 91 festival, reports CBC News. It was her third time attending the country music event in Las Vegas, according to her employer.
She was “super mature, light heartened, grounded, down to earth,” Scott Collingwood, general manager of Moxie’s restaurant, told CNN. “She left a big hole in our hearts here.”
Medig, who was in her 20s, was described as kind and warm-hearted by friends on social media. “Calla was among the kindest and warm-hearted, beautiful souls I have ever had the pleasure to know,” wrote former colleague Bailey Huebner on Facebook. “Her smile made such a positive impact on my life.”
Sonny Melton, 29
Sonny Melton, a certified nurse from Tennessee, saved his wife's life during the shooting. His wife, Dr. Heather Gulish Melton, remembered him a heartbreaking Facebook post. "Sonny was the most kind-hearted, loving man I have ever met. He saved my life and lost his," she wrote.
Patricia Mestas, 67
Sixty-seven-year-old Patricia Mestas died in last Sunday’s shooting, the Clark County Coroner confirmed. Mestas was a country music enthusiast, reports Reuters. One of her favorite musicians was Jason Aldean, who was performing when the shooter opened fire.
“She went to almost every country show in driving distance,” a friend Isa Bahu told the Riverside Press-Enterprise.
Mestas lived in Menifee, Calif.
Austin Meyer, 24
The Clark County Coroner confirmed that Austin Meyer died in the shooting. Meyer was in Las Vegas with his fiancée, who survived the shooting, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. They got tickets to the Route 91 Festival to celebrate his birthday and their anniversary.
The 24-year-old from Monterey County, Calif. had recently moved to Reno to study Transportation Technology in Truckee Meadows Community College.
“He had dreams of opening his own auto repair shop after graduation. He was excited to get married and start a family,” his sister Veronica told KSBW-TV.
Adrian Murfitt, 35
Adrian Murfitt, 35, was a fisherman from Anchorage, Alaska, with a lifelong interest in hockey, his sister told the Associated Press. He traveled to the festival as a reward for a successful fishing season, his sister said.
Rachael Parker, 33
Racheal Parker was a record technician at the Manhattan Beach Police Department in Manhattan Beach, Calif., for 10 years. She "will be greatly missed," the department wrote in a statement.
Jenny Parks, 36
California-based kindergarten teacher Jenny Parks was in Las Vegas with her husband Bobby Parks for Sunday's concert. The parents of two were high school sweethearts, AP reports. Jenny had been planning to throw a 40th birthday party for her husband next week. While Bobby, who was shot in the arm, made it out of the concert alive, Jenny did not. "It breaks my heart," their friend Jessica Maddin said. "People go to concerts to have a good time, connect with others and escape the tragedies of this world."
Carrie Parsons, 31
Carrie Parsons lost her life in Las Vegas, two nights after seeing one of her favorite country singers, Eric Church, perform at the Route 91 music festival, according to the Washington Post. The 31-year-old Seattle recruiter had recently gotten engaged, her longtime friend, Laura Cooper, told KOMO News. “She was a one-in-a-million friend,” Cooper said. “She would always say ‘live, laugh, love’ and she did that.”
Lisa Patterson, 46
Robert Patterson was wondering early Tuesday how he would return home to Los Angeles and tell his 8-year-old daughter that her mother, Lisa, had died in the mass shooting in Las Vegas.
“I don’t know how I’m going to tell her. I have no idea. She loved her mommy so much. It’s going to be devastating,” Patterson told Fox 5 Las Vegas in an interview posted Tuesday morning. “I don’t know how she’s going to handle it. Even my older kids are just basket cases right now, just like me.”
Patterson said he had not slept since the shooting. He and his wife had been together for more than 30 years and had three children together. “I’m lost right now,” he said. “I can’t believe she’s gone.”
Patterson said his wife loved being in Las Vegas and gambling. When the two had vacation time, they would often spend it in Vegas.
Speaking at a small vigil for victims that had formed outside the Bellagio, Patterson told Fox 5 he would remember his wife for her smile and how warm and caring she was to everyone. “There was nobody that cared more about people and life more than my wife,” he said.
John Phippen, 56
John Phippen died knowing his son did everything he could to try to save him. After Phippen was shot in the back, his son, Travis Phippen, attempted to stop the bleeding by plugging his father's bullet wound with one of his fingers as he dragged him to safety, according to the Los Angeles Times. But Travis Phippen's efforts ultimately weren't enough to save his dad. “He was my best friend,” the younger Phippen, an off-duty emergency medical technician, told the Times. “He never did anything wrong to anybody. He was always kind and gentle. He was the biggest teddy bear I knew.” Travis Phippen had also been shot in the arm. Both had traveled from Santa Clarita, Calif. to attend the concert.
Melissa Ramirez, 26
The death of Melissa Ramirez, who worked as a member specialist for an auto insurer, was confirmed Tuesday by California State University, Bakersfield, where she graduated in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
“We are terribly saddened to learn that we lost a member of our CSUB family in this senseless act of violence,” president Horace Mitchell said in a statement. “Our entire CSUB campus community is heartbroken, and we send our deepest sympathies to Melissa Ramirez’s family and friends.”
After learning about the shooting at the Route 91 Harvest music festival, her parents and siblings rushed to Las Vegas from Littlerock, Calif, AP reports. They identified her body early Tuesday.
“I’m sure she liked country music. I know she was really into music, period,” her cousin Fabiola Farnetti told AP. “Her smile would just brighten up everyone’s day.”
Jordyn Rivera, 21
Jordyn Rivera was in her fourth year at California State University, San Bernardino, according to Tomás Morales, the school’s president. Rivera was studying health care management and was also a member of the school’s chapter of Eta Sigma Gamma, the national health education honor society. “I personally got a chance to know her when we spent time together last summer in London during the summer abroad program,” Morales said in a statement. “We will remember and treasure her for her warmth, optimism, energy, and kindness.”
Quinton Robbins, 20
Quinton Robbins was at the concert, on a date with his girlfriend, when he was shot and killed, according to the Washington Post. Family members remembered the 20-year-old University of Nevada at Las Vegas student as “the most kind and loving soul” who had a “contagious laugh and smile.” “Everyone who met him, loved him,” his aunt, Kilee Wells Sanders, wrote on Facebook. “He was truly an amazing person.”
Robbins’s grandmother, Gaynor Wells, told the Post her grandson was “just a jewel.” Robbins, who was thinking about attending dental school, was a recreational assistant with the city of Henderson in Nevada, according to the newspaper. His girlfriend was unharmed.
Cameron Robinson, 28
Cameron Robinson was fatally shot at the Route 91 music festival, which he had attended with his boyfriend, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Robinson’s sister Meghan Ervin told the newspaper her brother had been shot in the neck. He worked for the City of Las Vegas and commuted from Utah, his sister said.
Rocio Guillen Rocha, 40
Six weeks ago, Rocio Guillen Rocha gave birth to a baby boy — her fourth child. On Sunday, she was killed in Las Vegas, during one of the worst mass shootings in modern U.S. history, according to her fiance’s sister, Nikki Stowers. Stowers told NPR that Rocha had died shortly after arriving at a hospital. Besides the infant, Rocha leaves behind an 18-month-old daughter, a 13-year-old son and a 17-year-old son, according to NPR. "I don't even know what to say," Stowers said. "She was such a great mom. It's so unfair that she's had her life taken away."
Tara Roe, 34
Tara Roe, a 34-year-old educational assistant in Canada, died in the musical festival shooting, according to her relatives and school district. Roe, of Alberta, leaves behind two sons, CTV News reported. “It is with sadness, shock, and grief that we confirm the loss of a Foothills School Division staff member,” Foothills Superintendent of Schools said in a statement.
Lisa Romero, 48
A beloved secretary at Miyamura High School in Gallup, N.M., Lisa Romero was an “incredible, loving and sincere friend, mentor and advocate for our students,” Mike Hyatt, interim superintendent of Gallup-McKinley County Public Schools, said at a press conference Monday.
Christopher Roybal, 28
Christopher Roybal, a U.S. Navy veteran who survived two shootouts while serving in Afghanistan, died in the hail of gunfire at the concert, his mother told the New York Daily News on Monday. “I got confirmation today,” said Roybal’s mom, Debby Allen. “The coroner told me. It sounds like he got shot pretty quickly. I feel like I'm living in a nightmare, I want to wake up so badly."
Roybal was about to turn 29. He and his mother were in Vegas celebrating his upcoming birthday. Allen told the News she was supposed to meet her son at the concert after a nap. But when she got there, gunfire had erupted. A concert-goer pulled her away to safety, but Allen fought to run towards danger to find her son. “I desperately wanted to go back in to find him. Nobody would let me go back in. They were pulling me away. I kept screaming, ‘My son! My son!’ But they said, 'You can't go back into the gunfire,'" Allen said. "It was horrible. I couldn't keep my feet underneath me. I kept collapsing.”
Allen said her son served seven years in the Navy, from 2005 to 2012. This year, Roybal moved from California to Colorado to help open other Crunch Fitness gyms, his boss, David Harman, told the Associated Press. “He is a guy that could always put a smile on your face ... after all the stuff he had been through,” Harman said.
In a Facebook post in July, Roybal described the trauma and fear that comes with getting shot at during battle. “What’s it like to be shot at? It’s a nightmare no amount of drugs, no amount of therapy and no amount of drunk talks with your war veteran buddies will ever be able to escape,” he wrote.
Brett Schwanbeck, 61
Brett Schwanbeck, a retired truck driver from Bullhead City, Ariz., was in Las Vegas attending the Route 91 festival with his fiancée, CNN reports. The father of three and grandfather of five was shot in the back of the head and leg, and succumbed to his injuries Tuesday in hospital, according to ABC15.
Relatives remember Schwanbeck as a kind, loving man who treasured family time. "He would drive 500 miles to help you if you needed it. He loved his family dearly and cherished lake trips, family gatherings, hunting, camping and spending time with his kids and grandkids," reads the family's GoFundMe page.
"He liked to be where no one else was at. He liked to get lost out in the middle of the woods," Shawn, his youngest son, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Bailey Schweitzer, 20
Infinity Communications and Consulting, where Bailey Schweitzer worked as a receptionist, released a statement Monday confirming her death in Las Vegas. Company CEO Fred Brakeman described her as "the ray of sunshine in our office on a cloudy day."
"If you have ever called or visited our office, she was the perky one that helped direct you to the staff member you needed," Brakeman wrote.
Schweitzer grew up in Bakersfield, Calif., where her father Scott Schweitzer owns the Bakersfield Speedway car racing track, according to local media reports.
Laura Shipp, 50
Laura Shipp was a single mother who moved from California to Las Vegas to be closer to her only child — her 23-year-old son who is a Marine, relatives told the Ventura County Star. “He just lost the most important person in his life,” said Shipp’s brother, Steve. “She was his world and he was hers.”
Erick Silva, 22
Erick Silva, a Las Vegas native, was a security guard at the music festival. According to the coroner’s office, Silva was shot in head, his uncle Rob Morgan told the Washington Post.
Morgan remembers Silva as someone whose life goal was to help others. He recalls him buying burgers for homeless people, treating relatives to dinner, and helping his mother pay her bills by working long shifts and holding yard sales in his free time.
“He said he would never leave his mom, she would never have to worry,” Morgan told the Post.
“I know that he was doing all that he could do to keep [people safe] before his life was taken,” event manager James Garrett wrote on Facebook. Silva had started working with him a few weeks prior to the shooting rampage.
Susan Smith, 53
Susan Smith was the office manager at Vista Fundamental Elementary School in Simi Valley, Calif. The school’s PTA described her as “a wonderful woman, an advocate for our children, and a friend,” in a post on Facebook, where parents and co-workers shared their condolences and memories of her positive, upbeat attitude and sense of humor.
Brennan Stewart, 30
Brennan Stewart, an aspiring musician working in his family’s construction firm, was attending the Route 91 Harvest festival with his girlfriend Gia Iantuono when the gunman struck.
“I will remember Brennan as a light that came into my life when I needed one. In all aspects he was just wonderful,” Iantuono told the Washington Post in a Facebook message. He played the guitar and, prior to the shooting, had finished recording the last song for his EP, she told the Post.
Iantuono said that during the concert she fell on the ground after being hit in the knee by something, looked back and saw Stewart also on the ground. She started screaming when she saw blood.
A man told her she had to run, Iantuono recalled, but she could not as her knee was dislocated. The same man then carried her first to a hiding place, and later to some bleachers. She later learnt that her boyfriend had died.
Derrick “Bo” Taylor, 56
Derrick Taylor, who worked for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for nearly three decades, was killed in Sunday’s shooting at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival, his employer said. The 56-year-old, who was known as “Bo,” was a commander at the Ventura Conservation Camp, a prison that houses up to 110 male inmates. Taylor began his career with the department in 1988 and earned the rank of a lieutenant.
“There are no words to express the feeling of loss and sadness regarding Bo’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. We truly are a family here at SCC and Bo’s loss will be felt throughout the prison, conservation camps, and Department,” Warden Joel Martinez wrote in a memo to staff, according to the department’s online newsletter.
Taylor had been dating 58-year-old Denise Cohen for several years, according to the AP. They both died at the Route 91 Festival in Las Vegas when the gunman opened fire.
Neysa Tonks, 46
A mother of three boys, Neysa Tonks was confirmed dead in a statement issued by her workplace Technologent, an IT firm based in Irvine, Calif. The statement described Tonks as a great mother, colleague and friend. "Neysa has brought so much joy, fun and laughter to Technologent – she will be greatly missed by all!" it read.
Michelle Vo, 32
Despite efforts by several strangers to try to save her, Michelle Vo died after being shot while standing near the middle of a crowded concert arena Sunday. The man who had been standing next to her tried shielding her wounded body, according to the Columbus Dispatch. Then several other strangers performed CPR as they carried her to safety, the newspaper reported. Vo later died at a hospital. The 32-year-old had come to Las Vegas from California, where she worked in the insurance industry. The LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce confirmed her death in a statement. Vo’s close friend, Casey Lubin, told BuzzFeed News that Vo was the “most vibrant, passionate, brave and kind person I have ever met.”
Kurt von Tillow, 55
Kurt von Tillow, a truck driver who lived in Cameron Park, Calif., died of his injuries from the shooting, reports CNN. He was at the Route 91 festival with a number of relatives, according to Sacramento's KCRA news channel. Von Tillow's sister and niece were injured in the shooting, while his wife, daughter and son-in-law were unharmed, KCRA reports.
A longtime friend remembers the 55-year-old as a “fun, fun guy and a really friendly man” who loved golf and beer, reports the Sacramento Bee. “He was a big beer drinker,” said Iain Marshall, who went on golfing trips with the von Tillows to Scotland and Ireland. “We stopped at every pub in England and Ireland, where there’s a pub on every corner.”
Bill Wolfe Jr., 42
Bill Wolfe Jr. and his wife Robyn were at the music festival, celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary, according to ABC 27. The couple had traveled from Shippensburg, Pa., where Wolfe Jr. was a beloved elementary school wrestling coach. His local police department confirmed his death Tuesday. “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 Shippensburg Police Department said in a Facebook post. “Please continue to hold our entire family as well as those affected across the nation in your unending prayers.”