We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.


'He saved my life': Tributes pour in as first victims of Las Vegas shooting named

At least 59 people died in the worst mass shooting in US history on Sunday night.

Updated: 4pm

A NURSE WHO died protecting his wife, and a school teacher who’d gone to the concert with her childhood sweetheart – the first victims of Sunday night’s mass shooting in Las Vegas have been named.

Tributes have begun to pour in, after the worst mass shooting in US history.

At least 59 people were killed and 500 were injured when a heavily armed gunman opened fire from his hotel room onto an open-air country music festival on the Las Vegas Strip.

Sonny Melton

Las Vegas Shooting Victims AP AP

Sonny Melton, a 29-year-old nurse from Tennessee, was shot and killed while attending the concert with his wife, Heather.

In a statement, his employers Henry County Medical Center said that its thoughts and prayers were with their families.

In an interview with WSMV, Heather Melton said her husband saved her life during the gunfire.

She said: “He saved my life. He grabbed me and started running when I felt him get shot in the back.

I want everyone to know what a kind-hearted, loving man he was, but at this point, I can barely breathe.

Adrian Murfitt

Adrian Murfitt AP AP

Adrian Murfitt, 35, was a commercial fisherman in Anchorage, Alaska.

His sister, Shannon Gothard, said the family had heard the news from a friend he was attending the concert with.

Gothard described her brother as a man with a hearty laugh and a former competitive hockey player who still dabbled in the game. “His whole life was always around hockey,” she said.

He had just come off an extremely successful fishing season when he made the trip to Las Vegas with some good friends, Gothard said.

Her brother “was happy to pay some things off and had made some really good money and decided to go out and celebrate and go to the concert and treat himself to something nice and fun,” she said.

Rachael Parker

Las Vegas Shooting Victims AP AP

Rachael Parker was shot and rushed to hospital where she later died.

The 33-year-old worked as a records technician for the police department in Manhattan Beach in California.

Colleagues said that she had worked there for 10 years, and will be “greatly missed”.

She was one of four off-duty Manhattan Beach officers at the concert.

Michael Gracia

Las Vegas Shooting Victims Jeff Higbee Jeff Higbee

A four-year veteran of the Ontario, California, police department was shot in the head during Sunday’s shooting, Ontario Police Sgt. Jeff Higbee said.

Officer Michael Gracia was injured, as was his girlfriend, and his condition is described as critical.

“He’s always real personable, upbeat, a real friendly guy,” Higbee said.

Sandra Casey

sandra casey Sandra Casey / Facebook Sandra Casey / Facebook / Facebook

Sandy Casey, a middle school special education teacher living in Redondo Beach, California, was also among those killed.

“This is unbelievably tragic and sad,” Mike Matthews, superintendent of the Manhattan Beach School District, wrote in morning letter to the district yesterday. “This loss is impacting many of our staff members deeply.”

Casey was at the Las Vegas concert with her fiancé and a friend, who were not injured, O’Leary said. Most of Casey’s extended family lives in Vermont, she said.

“They’re receiving a lot of support and love, the best you can do with an unbelievable tragedy,” she said.

The family is discussing setting up a scholarship in Casey’s name.

Susan Smith

susan smith Susan Smith / Facebook Susan Smith / Facebook / Facebook

Susan Smith, a 53-year-old from Simi Valley near Los Angeles in California had worked as office manager at Vista Elementary School since 2001.

“Susan was wonderful with the kids and the staff and was an integral part of the school community here,” said Jake Finch, the public information officer for the district.

She was the hub of everything that happened at the school. If a kid is sick, she’s the one calling the parents and no matter how chaotic things got here, she was always smiling.

Jordan McIldoon

The 23-year-old mechanic was shot dead as he attended the festival with his fianceé.

British Columbia Premier John Horgan said in a statement that Mclldoon, a mechanic’s apprentice, was among those killed.

“We only had one child,” Al and Angela McIldoon, told the CBC. “We just don’t know what to do.”

Bailey Schweitzer

Dana Gardner

The mother was shot dead as she attended the festival with her daughter.

Tweet by @Carlos🍇 Carlos🍇 / Twitter Carlos🍇 / Twitter / Twitter

Jessica Klymchuk 

Jessica Klymchuk, of Valleyview, Alberta, Canada, died on Sunday night in Las Vegas.

Klymchuk, 28, was an educational assistant, librarian and bus driver for St Stephen’s School, said the Holy Family Catholic Regional Division.

Quinton Robbins 

Rhonda LeRocque

Irish reaction

Several books of condolence are currently being signed across Ireland for the victims of the Las Vegas mass shooting.

Books were opened in Clare and Cork while the US embassy in Dublin asked people to send messages via social media.

The Cork book opened at 2.30pm today by Mayor Declan Hurley.

Meanwhile, Clare County Council opened theirs at Áras Contae an Chláir in Ennis in memory of the victims. Mayor Tom McNamara and Pat Dowling, chief executive of the council, were the first to sign the book.

Mayor McNamara said: “On behalf of Clare County Council and the people of Clare, I wish to extend my deepest sympathies and condolences to the friends and families of the victims of this attack. I wish the people of the United States of America strength as they seek to overcome such a brutal and indiscriminate attack.”

The US embassy in Dublin issued a statement telling of its horror in the aftermath of the attack. A statement on its Facebook page read: “The US Embassy joins all Americans, Irish, and people around the world in expressing our condolences to the victims and families of the horrific attack in Las Vegas. If you’d like to leave a message of condolence, please do so.”

There were also tributes paid to the dead and injured in the Dáíl today during Leaders’ Questions.

Both Micheál Martin and Leo Varadkar began by paying tribute to those that died in the shooting in Las Vegas.

“In the faces of such horror and tragedy we stand in solidarity with our friends in the United States,” said Varadkar.

He said it was an “attack on all citizens”. The Taoiseach said he sent a message to US President Trump yesterday to state that they are standing in solidarity with them all.

With reporting from the Associated Press and Garreth MacNamee

Read: Huge cache of guns, explosives and ammo found at home of Las Vegas attacker

Read: ‘We were walking towards the hotel when I heard this pop, pop, pop sound’: Irish honeymoon couple caught up in Las Vegas attack

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel