Las Ve­gas marks two years since 58 killed, 422 wounded

The Morning Call - - FRONT PAGE - By Ken Rit­ter

A woman vis­its a makeshift me­mo­rial Tues­day for shoot­ing vic­tims on the an­niver­sary of the mass shoot­ing two years ear­lier in Las Ve­gas in which 58 were killed and 422 wounded. “Some­thing we all learned that night is no one’s a stranger,” said Heidi Dupin, about the peo­ple she met who helped each other dur­ing the shoot­ing at a coun­try mu­sic fes­ti­val. “It brings out the best in you.” See story on

LAS VE­GAS — From a sun­rise event to a read­ing of vic­tims’ names at the time the bul­lets flew, Las Ve­gas on Tues­day marked two years since the dead­li­est mass shoot­ing in mod­ern U.S. his­tory, with memo­ri­als to the 58 peo­ple killed at a coun­try mu­sic fes­ti­val.

“No an­niver­sary is more ter­ri­ble than the one that re­calls how your neigh­bors and guests were so wan­tonly slain, even while their hearts were singing out in joy as they lis­tened to mu­sic with their friends and loved ones,” Joe Rob­bins said.

The fa­ther of 20-year-old Quin­ton Rob­bins told a day­break au­di­ence of hun­dreds about his son, a city recre­ation worker who died when a gun­man rained gun­fire from a high-rise ho­tel into a crowd of 22,000 on Oct. 1, 2017.

“None of us want those who lost to be for­got­ten,” Joe Rob­bins said.

Ne­vada Gov. Steve Siso­lak re­called cell­phones ring­ing as he joined of­fi­cials walk­ing to the shoot­ing scene the morning after the mas­sacre.

“Many that would never be an­swered,” he said.

Two years ago, Siso­lak led the county com­mis­sion that over­saw the Las Ve­gas Strip, where a con­cert turned to hor­ror as peo­ple sud­denly dropped — bleed­ing — ran to es­cape the spray­ing bul­lets and tried to save peo­ple they loved.

“Be­yond the neon signs, we are a city of neigh­bors that look out for each other,” the first­term gover­nor said.

The me­mo­rial au­di­ence was smaller than last year, but emo­tions were still raw for Al McIloon, fa­ther of Jor­dan McIloon, a 23-year-old from Maple Ridge, Bri­tish Columbia, who died in the shoot­ing.

“We feel the need to be here for our son,” he said.

He, his wife, An­gela McIloon, and their friend Paul Poteat of Las Ve­gas wore match­ing NHL Ve­gas Golden Knights jer­seys, No. 58, with the name Jordy Mac on the back.

“We’ll keep com­ing ev­ery year,” Al McIloon said.

Steve Dar­ling and Judy Gard­ner of On­tario, Cal­i­for­nia, wore T-shirts with the name of Judy’s daugh­ter, Dana Gard­ner, a 52-year-old mother of three en­joy­ing the mu­sic with her own daugh­ter when she died. They planned to join hands with sur­vivors and other fam­i­lies of vic­tims at the venue across the Las Ve­gas Strip from the Man­dalay Bay re­sort-casino, where the shooter un­leashed his at­tack.

MGM Re­sorts In­ter­na­tional, owner of the ho­tel and the venue, has plans to con­vert the now-shut­tered con­cert space to park­ing while it plans a com­mu­nity cen­ter and a place to re­mem­ber vic­tims.

Dar­ling and Gard­ner said they al­ready vis­ited a com­mu­nity heal­ing gar­den, where Las Ve­gas Mayor Carolyn Good­man planned to read the names of the vic­tims at the time the gun­fire rang out: 10:05 p.m.

Greg Za­nis, who made wooden me­mo­rial crosses with vic­tims’ names and pho­tos, put them up again at the iconic “Wel­come to Fab­u­lous Las Ve­gas” sign.

The Ve­gas Strong Re­siliency Cen­ter, which of­fers fi­nan­cial help, coun­sel­ing re­fer­rals and le­gal aid for those af­fected by the shoot­ing, pro­moted day­long out­reach well­ness pro­grams.

The shoot­ing lasted nearly 11 min­utes be­fore gun­man Stephen Pad­dock killed him­self as po­lice closed in. Po­lice and the FBI found the 64-year-old re­tired ac­coun­tant and high­stakes video poker player metic­u­lously planned the at­tack, and they the­o­rized that he may have sought no­to­ri­ety.

But they said they never found a clear mo­tive.

JOHN LOCHER/AP

JOHN LOCHER/AP

Peo­ple pray for the vic­tims Tues­day in Las Ve­gas, the an­niver­sary of the mass shoot­ing.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.