At least 59 people have died in a mass shooting in Las Vegas at a country music festival Sunday night, and details are slowly emerging about the victims.
Two other off-duty officers were among the more than 527 transported to hospitals, police said. One is in stable condition after surgery, and the other’s injuries weren’t life-threatening.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that friends identified LVMPD officer, military veteran, and youth football coach Charleston Hartfield, 34, as one of the dead. “They say it’s always the good ones we lose early. There’s no truer statement than that with Charles,” friend Troy Rhett told the paper.
The family of registered nurse Sonny Melton from Paris, Tennessee told WZTV that he was one of the people who died.
“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,” his wife Heather Gulish Melton said in a statement to Fox 17 News in Nashville.
— FoxNashville (@FOXNashville) October 2, 2017
Quinton Robbins, 24, from Henderson, Nevada was one of the murdered, his aunt Kilee Wells Sanders said on Facebook. “Please pray for his parents and siblings at this time,” she wrote. “Please also respect their privacy as this is a devastating loss that is incredibly painful for the families.”
Alaskan native Adrian Murfitt, 35, a commercial fisherman, died in his friend Brian MacKinnon’s arms. “He was like an Alaskan cowboy, but when he saw a dog he’d turn into a 10-year-old kid,” MacKinnon told the LA Times.
Fifty-six-year-old John Phippen of Santa Clarita, who owned a home remodeling company, was dancing with his son, Travis, when a bullet hit him in the back, according to the LA Times. Travis, who didn’t realize he’d been shot in the arm, carried his father to the hospital, where he died.
“He was my best friend,” Travis told the Times. “He never did anything wrong to anybody. He was always kind and gentle. He was the biggest teddy bear I knew.”
West Virginian Denise Burditus died in her husband’s arms. Just hours before the shooting, she posted a photo of the couple smiling at the festival on Facebook.
Two Canadians, Jordan McIldoon from Maple Ridge, British Colombia, and Jessica Klymchuk of Valleyview, Alberta, were killed, CBC reported. She was a mother a four who worked at a Catholic school. McIldoon was a 23-year-old mechanic’s apprentice. He died in a woman’s arms.
“We only had one child,” McIldoon’s parents told CBC. “We just don’t know what to do.”
Rachel Parker, a civilian employee with the Manhattan Beach Police Department in California for 10 years, was also killed, CBS News Los Angeles reported. The MBPD said in a statement that she died at the hospital.
Sandy Casey, who taught special education at Manhattan Beach Middle School, was also shot.
“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,” the Manhattan Beach Unified School District said in a statement to the Los Angeles Times.
Lisa Romero, a high school teacher from Gallup, New Mexico, also died. A friend told KRQE News that she was a “sweet and beautiful woman.”
Susan Smith, 53, was another school employee who died. She was an office manager at an elementary school in Simi Valley, California for 16 years and was married three children.
“She was the hub of the school. She was the center of it. Everyone who came through those doors she knew. She knew the children, she knew the staff, she knew the parents,” school spokesperson Jake Finch told the LA Times.
Neysa Tonks, a technology worker from Irvine, also died, the Times reported. She had three sons.
It will likely take days to identify all of the victims.
“The identification process of all of the injured and the deceased will take time, so authorities are asking the public for patience,” LVMPD said in a press release Monday morning.
The gunman, identified as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino with an automatic rifle, police said. Police said they found him dead with at least 19 rifles in his hotel room.
Many of the Route 91 Harvest festival’s approximately 22,000 attendees were young people, including families with kids. Country star Jason Aldean was onstage performing his headliner set to close the three-day festival when Paddock opened fire.
— Chase Stevens (@CSStevensphoto) October 2, 2017
Police said family members could call 1-866-535-5654 if they are still looking for missing loved ones.
The city of Las Vegas also set up a family reunification center and urged people to donate blood to help the victims.
— City of Las Vegas (@CityOfLasVegas) October 2, 2017
While police secured the area, busloads of people were transported to the Thomas & Mack Center at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, campus, where the Las Vegas Review Journal reported they were patted down before entering.
Officials expect the death toll to rise.
Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said at a news conference that police were still finding people who had taken cover during the shooting as the sun rose on Monday.
“It’s going to take time for us to get through the evacuation phase,” he said.
Clark County Commission Chair Steve Sisolak set up a GoFundMe account to raise money to help victims and their families.
This story is developing. Refresh for updates.