People visit a makeshift memorial for shooting victims, Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019, on the anniversary of the mass shooting two years earlier in, Las Vegas. “Something we all learned that night is no one’s a stranger,” said 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.” (AP Photo/John Locher)

‘We’ll keep coming every year’: Family honours B.C. man killed in 2017 Las Vegas shooting

It’s been two years since mass shooting that killed 58 people

From a sunrise event to a reading of victims’ names at the time the bullets flew, Las Vegas on Tuesday was marking 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 neighbours 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 the shooting scene the morning after the massacre.

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

ALSO READ: Las Vegas shooter acted alone, exact motive still undetermined: Sheriff

Two years ago, Sisolak led the county commission that oversees 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 neighbours that look out for each other,” the first-term governor said.

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

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

He, his wife, Angela McIldoon, 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 McIldoon 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 said they planned to join hands with survivors and other families of victims at the concert 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 announced plans to convert the now-shuttered concert space to parking while it plans a community centre and a place to remember victims.

READ MORE: Las Vegas remembers Jordan McIldoon

READ MORE: Okanagan man goes offline to escape trolls after Las Vegas shooting

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, counselling 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 high-stakes 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.

Police recovered 23 assault-style weapons, including 14 fitted with bump stock attachments that allow firearms to fire rapidly like machine-guns. The Trump administration banned the devices in March.

Nevada and some other states have tightened gun laws in the two years since the shooting, including passing “red flag” measures that allow a judge to order weapons be taken from someone who is deemed a threat.

Gun control advocates say they’re frustrated more hasn’t been done.

Two prominent gun control organizations will host a forum Wednesday in Las Vegas for 10 leading Democratic presidential candidates focusing on the issue.

Efforts to combat gun violence follow other recent mass shootings, including at a Florida high school last year that killed 17 and attacks in Texas and Ohio that killed 31 people in one weekend this summer.

“It’s a shame that it takes more and more of these shootings to bring attention to a topic,” said Liz Becker, a volunteer with the gun control advocacy group Moms Demand Action.

But “I do think that the tide is turning,” she said.

Associated Press writer Michelle L. Price in Las Vegas contributed to this report.

Ken Ritter, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Lefebure rebuilds his previous life in construction

Former North Cowichan Mayor enjoys the transition back to physical outdoor work

Books, books, books: many by Cowichan Valley authors mean a stack of good reading

A Niagara of books flow through our doors at the Citizen

Coming up in Cowichan: Seniors Expo, huge book sale, haunted house

Learn how to advocate for kids with special needs Free workshop How… Continue reading

Proper support lacking for those with dyslexia, says Cowichan mom

October is International Dyslexia Awareness month

North Cowichan councillor’s proposal for regional control of forests gets nod at UBCM

Recommendation from North Cowichan councillor Rob Douglas now goes to province

B.C.’s rural paramedic program expands, with home support

Advanced care ambulance staff added for six communities

BC Ferries sees steady traffic of post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Ferries filling up fast, sailing waits at some terminals

‘Save the kids!’ Dorian survivor tells the harrowing story of his Canadian wife’s death

Family held a funeral and placed Alishia Liolli’s remains in a niche at a cemetery in Windsor, Ont.

Okanagan woman, 91, votes at advance polls despite broken hip, shoulder and wrist

Angela Maynard has voted in almost every election during her lifetime

Heiltsuk Nation open first Big House in 120 years in northern B.C.

Opening means the community now has an appropriate space for spiritual and ceremonial events

Singh says NDP would form coalition with the Liberals to stop Tories

Singh was in a Liberal-held riding Sunday afternoon in Surrey where he was pressed about his post-election intentions

‘My heart goes out to the mother’: B.C. dad reacts to stabbing death of Ontario boy

Carson Crimeni, who was also 14, was bullied relentlessly, his dad says

BC Ferries filling up fast with post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Monday anticipated to be busiest day of the weekend

The one with the ‘Friends’ photoshoot: Kelowna group recreates TV show intro

A friend’s departure prompted them to create something that really says, “I’ll be there for you”

Most Read