Six of the 59 people killed in the shootings in Las Vegas are (top row L-R) Jessica Klymchuk, Denise Burditus, Adrian Murfitt, (bottom row L-R) Sandy Casey, Sonny Melton and Rachael Parker.

Six of the 59 people killed in the shootings in Las Vegas are (top row L-R) Jessica Klymchuk, Denise Burditus, Adrian Murfitt, (bottom row L-R) Sandy Casey, Sonny Melton and Rachael Parker.

The mourning begins for 59 victims of the Las Vegas sniper

They were teachers, coaches, business owners, parents, siblings, husbands, wives and friends.

  • By JASON DEAREN AND KATHLEEN RONAYNE Associated Press
  • Tuesday, October 3, 2017 11:07am
  • Nation-World

By Jason Dearen and Kathleen Ronayne / Associated Press

They were school teachers and youth football coaches, real estate agents and local business owners.

They were parents, siblings, husbands, wives, neighbors and friends.

They traveled to Las Vegas to see their favorite stars, posting videos and photos to social media.

At least 59 of them never made it home after a gunman opened fire from the 32nd floor of a Las Vegas hotel onto a crowd of more than 22,000 below at a country music festival.

Details are emerging about the lives of those who died, as well as countless more who were injured. Friends waited for text messages that never came, families learned the worst from hospitals and local authorities. In a few cases, families still frantically searched Monday night for news. Many have launched fundraising campaigns for the children and families left behind, while others have vowed to start scholarship funds in their loved ones’ names.

High school sweethearts: One survives, one dies

Bobby Parks’ wife was planning to throw him a 40th birthday party next week before Jenny Parks was killed at the concert, friend Jessica Maddin said.

The couple were high school sweethearts and they have two children.

Jenny Parks was a kindergarten teacher for the Lancaster School District in California.

Maddin met Parks while working at 24 Hour Fitness.

Later Parks would help Maddin who started a group, Jessica’s Hope Project, that provides care packages to troops.

Maddin now is trying to raise funds for her friend, Bobby Parks, on a GoFundMe page. Bobby Parks was shot in the arm and hand and is awaiting surgery, Maddin said.

“It breaks my heart,” Maddin said. “People go to concerts to have a good time, connect with others and escape the tragedies of this world.”

Veteran remembered as jovial, hard working

Christopher Roybal, 28, was described as jovial and fun-loving, despite experiencing intense combat during four tours in the Middle East.

“He is a guy that could always put a smile on your face … after all the stuff he had been through,” said David Harman, who founded a company that owns the Colorado gym where Roybal worked.

Roybal, 28, worked at Crunch Fitness in Corona and Riverside, California, before he moved at the beginning of the year to help open franchises in Colorado Springs.

“As far as responsibility and discipline and work ethic, there wasn’t any question about him coming on board with us,” said Harman, who has known Roybal for about 4 ½ years. “He was a good hard worker, a grinder.”

“He was the guy who if your car broke down in the middle of the night, you could call him and he would come help you,” Harman added. “He is that guy who would find solutions, not report on problems.”

Harman said Roybal served in Afghanistan and was coping with the loss of a friend who was killed by an improvised explosive device. Roybal adopted his friend’s bomb-sniffing dog, Bella, but was devastated when she died of old age.

“That dog saved his life quite a few times,” Harman said.

Roybal mentioned the dog in a July 18 Facebook post that also included a lengthy description of his experience getting shot at in combat.

He ends the post: “What’s it like to be shot at? It’s a nightmare no amount of drugs, no amount of therapy and no amount of drunk talks with your war veteran buddies will ever be able to escape. Cheers boys.”

‘A grueling 15 hours’ searching for missing woman

Stacee Etcheber of Novata, California, was still missing Monday night.

At the concert, her husband told her to hide, then to run, as he helped a concertgoer next to him who had been shot, said Al Etcheber, her brother-in-law.

Her husband, Vincent Etcheber, is a San Francisco police officer, and his training kicked in immediately when shots rang out, Al Etcheber said.

He told Stacee and the couple’s three friends to protect themselves behind a nearby barrier. Then he told them to run, just before the second round of shots rang out, Al Etcheber said.

He has not heard from Stacee since, and she was not carrying an ID.

“It’s been a grueling 15 hours with no information,” Al Etcheber said.

Stacee, 50, works as a hairdresser.

“She’s just a loving wife, a great mother. She’s tough as nails and just the salt of the earth,” Al said.

Alaska woman was local hockey fan

Dorene Anderson was the second person from Anchorage, Alaska, confirmed killed in the mass shooting in Las Vegas, her husband’s employer said Monday.

Anderson’s husband, John, works for the Alaska Housing Finance Corp. The CEO of that organization sent an email to employees Monday informing them that Dorene had been killed in the shooting.

Anderson described herself on her Facebook page as a stay-at-home wife and mother whose outside interest was a passion for the Alaska Aces, a minor league hockey team that recently disbanded and was sold to the parent company of the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers. She had been a member of the Aces’ “Cowbell Crew.”

Stacy Shubert, the director of governmental relations and public affairs for the corporation, told The Associated Press that the family has requested privacy.

Off-duty officer coached kids, was respected leader

Off-duty Las Vegas police officer and youth football coach Charleston Hartfield was among those killed, two of his friends said.

Hartfield, 34, was known as a selfless, respected leader who brought out the best in his players, said Stan King, whose son played football for Hartfield.

Troy Rhett, another friend of Hartfield’s through football, said he knew from social media that Hartfield was attending the Sunday concert. When he heard about the shooting, he texted him, hoping to learn Hartfield was safe. He never heard back, and Rhett said he learned through another friend Monday morning that Hartfield had died.

Hartfield, who also went by “Chuck” or “Charles” or even “Chucky Hart,” was also a military veteran and leaves behind a son and a daughter, Rhett said.

Hartfield is also listed at author of a book titled “Memoirs of Public Servant” about his time as a Las Vegas police officer.

Friend helped get wounded college student to ambulance

Karessa Royce, a 22-year-old Las Vegas local, was rushed to an ambulance by a friend after she was shot in the shoulder, said Marissa Nino, her cousin who is acting as a family spokesperson.

Royce, a student at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, is in the intensive care unit following surgery for a collapsed lung. She is expected to survive, Nino said. Royce had no identification on her at the concert, so it took the family some time to locate her, Nino said.

Royce is one of five children and is studying hospitality.

Royce’s friend “definitely saved her life,” Nino said. Royce cannot speak, but her friend shared what happened with the family and has been in the hospital by Royce’s side since, Rios said.

Associated Press Writers Rachel D’Oro in Anchorage, Alaska; Jay Reeves in Birmingham, Alabama; Julie Watson in San Diego, California; Don Babwin in Chicago; Rob Gillies in Toronto; Mike Balsamo in Los Angeles; Mark Thiessen in Anchorage, Alaska; Jeff Baenen in Minneapolis; and Russell Contreras in Albuquerque, New Mexico contributed to this report. Dearen reported from Gainesville, Florida, and Ronayne reported from Sacramento, California.

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