2 Canadians among 59 killed in Las Vegas mass shooting
A B.C. man and an Alberta woman have died, and two women from Manitoba and two men from Saskatchewan remain in hospital after Sunday night’s mass shooting at a country music festival in Las Vegas.
Jordan McIldoon of Maple Ridge, B.C., and Jessica Klymchuk of Valleyview, Alta., were among the dozens of people killed when a gunman opened fire on a large crowd near the end of the outdoor festival on the Vegas Strip.
A beloved mother and teacher
Klymchuk was a mother of four and worked at a Catholic school in Valleyview, east of Grande Prairie.
Local pastor Rev. Abraham Joseph said teachers and students cried when they were informed of her death.
Joseph said Klymchuk was loved by the kids and said he’ll be spending time at the school this week to support them and the staff.
‘We had one child’
McIldoon’s parents, Al and Angela, confirmed their son’s death.
They said he was attending the Route 91 Harvest music festival with his girlfriend, and they were supposed to return home Monday night.
“We only had one child,” they said. “We just don’t know what to do.”
They wrote that their son grew up on the family acreage in Maple Ridge, and was a “self-described cowboy boot, tattoo-covered redneck who loved the outdoors.”
McIldoon was a heavy-duty mechanic apprentice and about to start trade school in the Okanagan.
They said the Canadian Consulate was being supportive, and they had received calls from McIldoon’s girlfriend and Las Vegas paramedics.
‘I just couldn’t leave him’
Heather Gooze, who was working as a bartender at the concert, said that McIldoon died “in her arms.”
“I felt his fingers, like, tighten and then loosen,” she said.
When his phone rang in his pocket, she answered, then found out his name from the friend who had called. She wrote his name down on his arm, then looked up his family on Facebook and started messaging them.
She eventually contacted his girlfriend, who was in lockdown nearby.
“She said, ‘Please be honest with me, what’s going on?'” said Gooze.
“And I said, ‘I didn’t want to be the one to tell you this, but he didn’t make it.'”
McIldoon’s mother then called and Gooze promised she would stay with her son — which she did, for 5½ hours.
“I wouldn’t want anybody to leave. You know, I couldn’t just leave him by himself.”
Several Canadians in hospital
Sheldon Mack from Victoria was also injured in the attack.
Another Saskatchewan woman in her 30s from the same group was shot in the foot.
By Monday afternoon, officials confirmed that at least 59 people were killed and 527 injured.
Global Affairs is deploying a team of consular officials to Las Vegas to assist Canadians.
According to a release, they will be working closely with U.S. authorities to identify and help any Canadians hurt in the attack.
With files from Briar Stewart