Las Vegas shooting brings tragedy to families in US, Canada
By JASON DEAREN, Associated Press
A registered nurse from Tennessee who died shielding his wife, a doctor, from gunfire. The only son of a Canadian couple who is now left childless. A popular secretary at a New Mexico High School.
All were among the at least 58 people killed in the mass shooting at a country music festival in Las Vegas, a tragedy that has left behind loved ones in many parts of the country and world.
Details began to emerge Monday about some of those slain and the hundreds more who were injured after a gunman opened fire on festivalgoers.
Sonny Melton, a registered nurse, died in the shooting, according to The Henry County Medical Center in Paris, Tennessee, where he worked.
His wife, Dr. Heather Melton, an orthopedic surgeon who was with him when shots were fired, survived, the medical center said.
Heather Melton told WZTV in Nashville, Tennessee that her husband "saved my life and lost his." She says her husband was the most kind-hearted, loving man she ever met.
Friend Jeremy Butler told the Paris (Tennessee) Post-Intelligencer that Melton was shielding Heather Melton from gunfire when he was fatally shot.
Real estate agent and father of three older children Rob McIntosh, 52, of North Pole, Alaska, was near the front of the stage with friends when the shooting began, according to friend and real estate broker Mike Vansickle. He was hit repeatedly but survived, Vansickle said.
"From just getting off the phone with the family, he took three bullets to his body," said Vansickle. "He just came out of surgery, and he's going to make it."
In a personal note on his real estate website, McIntosh describes himself as enjoying the outdoors in Alaska, where he also operates a business called Santa's Fireworks.
"Whether I'm fishing, snow machining, hunting, steel welding or building my own home or cabin; I stay active all year round," McIntosh wrote.
Vansickle described McIntosh as being strong.
"He's been though lots of adversity," said Vansickle. "He'll get through all this and come out with some stories to tell."
Rachael Parker, a police records technician, was shot and ultimately died in the hospital, the Manhattan Beach Police Department said.
Parker was among four department employees who were attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival while off-duty. Another suffered minor injuries.
"She was employed with the Manhattan Beach Police Department for 10 years and will be greatly missed," the department said in a statement.
Nick Robone, an assistant hockey coach at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, was shot in the chest, the school said.
The Rebels men's ice hockey team said in a statement Monday that Robone had surgery to remove a bullet from his chest.
General Manager Zee Khan says Robone is breathing with help from a ventilator and is in stable condition.
The team says the bullet missed Robone's lung, and he is expected to fully recover. The team says he will be hospitalized "for the near future."
At least two Canadians are among the dead.
Mechanic's apprentice Jordan McIldoon, 23, of Maple Ridge, British Columbia was among those slain, according to CBC News.
"We only had one child," Al and Angela McIldoon, told the CBC. "We just don't know what to do."
The couple says their son was attending the music festival with his girlfriend.
British Columbia Premier John Horgan offered condolences and says flags will be dropped to half-mast on the province's Parliament buildings and on government buildings in Maple Ridge.
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said Tuesday Jessica Klymchuk, a 28-year-old Albertan, also was among those who died. Notley expressed sympathy for the loss.
Klymchuk worked as an educational assistant, librarian and bus driver at St. Stephen's School in Valleyview.
In a statement, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau denounced the "senseless and cowardly act of violence."
Sandy Casey, a middle school special education teacher from Manhattan Beach, California, was killed in Sunday night's attack, the school district said.
"This is unbelievably tragic and sad," Mike Matthews, superintendent of the Manhattan Beach School District, wrote in a Monday morning letter to the district. "This loss is impacting many of our staff members deeply."
Casey is a 2004 alumna of the College of St. Joseph in Rutland, Vermont, according to a Facebook post in the college's alumni page.
Kristin Babik, a law student at the University of Florida in Las Vegas for an internship at the Clark County district attorney's office, suffered broken ribs and a collapsed lung in the shooting, the school said.
"Kristin is on bed rest for now," an email from the law school's dean said. "We look forward to welcoming her back to Gainesville as soon as she recovers."
Among the injured were two off-duty personnel from the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department, the agency confirmed. Both were transported to a local hospital after being hit by gunfire.
One remains in critical condition and the other is in stable condition, the department said in a statement. No names or details on their positions at the department were being released at this time.
Associated Press Writers Jay Reeves in Birmingham, Alabama; Julie Watson in San Diego, California; Kathleen Ronayne in Sacramento, California; Rob Gillies in Toronto and Mike Balsamo in Los Angeles contributed to this report.