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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: Boat burns in Maple Street boatyard

Firefighters were called to a boatyard on Maple St. between 14th and… Continue reading

Happy to be in the newspaper

Four year-old Dia Cammack had no idea that playing in the snow would land her in the newspaper

Carihi fly fishing program is no more

Well, okay, that’s not entirely true.

Affordable housing for women and children coming to downtown Campbell River

Complex will be located by Rose Harbour, which serves the same demographic and has long waiting list

Check out a new future at career and education fair in Comox

Event today features booths from more than 40 employers and educational institutions

Women take centre stage at NHL all-star skills competition

Canada beat the United States 2-1 in a spirited 3-on-3 game between female players Friday night

BCLC opens novelty bet on Harry and Meghan moving to the west coast

Meanwhile, real estate agency points to four possible homes for the family

Canada slips in global corruption ranking in aftermath of SNC-Lavalin scandal

The country obtained a score of 77, which places it at the top in the Americas

Wuhan bans cars, Hong Kong closes schools as coronavirus spreads

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said her government will raise its response level to emergency, highest one

B.C.’s oldest practising lawyer celebrates 100th birthday, shares advice

Firefighters bring Constance Isherwood a cake with 100 birthday candles

Vernon woman suing McDonald’s for spilled coffee

Woman seeking nearly $10K, says employee failed to put lid on properly

Diners’ health tax not catching on in B.C., restaurant group says

Small businesses look for options to cover employer health tax

B.C. comic wins judgment after club owner slaps cellphone out of his hands

Incident happened last summer when Garrett Clark was performing in Abbotsford

Most Read