Las Vegas marks two years since 58 killed, 422 wounded
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.
People pray for the victims Tuesday in Las Vegas, the anniversary of the mass shooting.