One of the dozens of people killed in the Sunday shooting in Las Vegas is from Maple Ridge, a former student at Thomas Haney secondary.
Jordan McIldoon, who worked at South Surrey’s Jacob Bros. Construction, died in the attack as a gunman shot down on a crowd attending a music concert that night, according to reports.
McIldoon’s parents, Al and Angela, confirmed their son’s death to other media. They said he was attending the Route 91 Harvest music festival with his girlfriend. They were supposed to return home Monday night.
McIldoon was an only child who grew up on the family acreage in Maple Ridge. His parents said he was a “self-described cowboy boot, tattoo-covered redneck who loved the outdoors.”
Alina Diaconu knew McIldoon.
“You were one of the kindest, funny and most sincere guys I know,” she said. “This is a tragedy and breaks my heart to see what the world has come to.”
Liam Wallace added: “It’s awful how someone could do such a tragic thing to a group of innocent people at a country concert.”
The latest figures from the shooting are that 59 people have died and more than 5oo have been injured. Families looking to locate loved ones should call 1-866-535-5654.
Las Vegas Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said that the first calls came into the city’s police detachment just after 10 p.m. local time of “multiple shots being fire from the direction of the Mandalay Bay Hotel towards the Route 91 concert.”
The gunman had checked into a hotel on the 32 floor of the Mandalay Bay and began spraying rounds into the crowd of 22,000. Police responded and a SWAT team broke into his room to find the gunman dead of suspected self-inflicted injuries
He has been identified by police as “Stephen Craig Paddock, as 64-year-old, Stephen Craig Paddock, a white male from Mesquite, Nevada.” Lombardo confirmed that gunman is now dead.
“We believe it is a lone wolf actor,” Lombardo said. They have located a person of interest in the case, Marilou Danley, who is believed to be the gunman’s girlfriend.
One off-duty Las Vegas police officer has been confirmed dead. Two on-duty officers are injured; one has minor wounds and the other is in stable condition.
Neil Lock, a Maple Ridge resident, and his girlfriend, Jana Rickerby, were in Las Vegas at the time, at the Luxor, the first hotel beside the concert.
“We were having dinner after the Cris Angel show and suddenly hundreds of people were running towards us screaming, ‘gunman, gunman.’ We were escorted to the restaurant kitchen then into the basement for four hours,” he said.
“Finally, we were allowed to go at 3 a.m. and we were the first to go outside. It was so quiet and police with massive guns were telling us to go back inside,” he added.
“When inside, I was talking to a survivor who was dodging hundreds of bullets around him.”
Lock said it was scary.
“We’re still absorbing how close we were – we were out of lockdown at 5:30 a.m. and safely in our Freemont Street hotel by six.”
Lock said Freemont Street was on lockdown too.
“Roads were closed everywhere.”
B.C. Premier John Horgan issued a statement about the attack in Las Vegas and death of McIldoon.
“The senseless acts of violence in Las Vegas are horrifying and incomprehensible. Our hearts are with all those affected by last night’s shooting,” he said.
“Jordan McIldoon of Maple Ridge was among those who lost their lives. He was 23 years old. The flags at the parliament buildings in Victoria and provincial government buildings in Maple Ridge will be dropped to half-mast to honour him,” Horgan added.
“To Jordan’s family, and the family and friends of all those who have lost their lives, we offer our condolences and support.
“I want to express my heartfelt thanks to the first responders, who put themselves in harm’s way by running toward gunfire in an effort to save lives,” Horgan said.
“When dark acts seek to shake our faith in humanity, we look to those who have come forward to help. Their selfless acts of heroism are what build the strong and caring communities we all want to be a part of.”
The City of Maple Ridge has also expressed condolences to all families impacted by the Las Vegas shooting.
“In the last few hours we learned the sad news that a young man from our community was among those who perished. In the coming hours we will learn the names of many more of the victims. Families, friends and communities around the continent will be dealing with the loss of loved ones due to this random act of violence. That is the most difficult thing. Not knowing,” the city said on its website.
Mayor Nicole Read called the violence “unbelievable” and Maple Ridge hadn’t even responded to the truck attack in Edmonton Saturday which injured four, when the news of the mass shooting in Las Vegas broke.
People everywhere are trying to show love, but the mass shooters or terrorists keep surfacing.
She extended her sympathies to Jordan’s parents.
“To lose a child over this kind of senseless rage and violence … it’s just unbelievable. Maple Ridge, though, is good at wrapping love around people after such tragedies, she added.
“Our thoughts are with the first responders in Las Vegas, police, firefighters, ambulance personnel, nurses and doctors, who are dealing with this tragic event and working to save other victims of the shooting and investigate this crime. The burden of their work is immense today.
“In the coming days and weeks we will learn more about the ‘who’ and ‘why’ of this incident but today our thoughts are focused on those who perished. Today we need to rally behind the family members, friends and co-workers of Jordan McIldoon as they process this terrible loss.”
In an address to the country, U.S. President Donald Trump called the attack “an act of pure evil” and added: “In moments of tragedy and horror, America comes together as one. And it always has.” He ordered flags flown at half-mast.
Police has completed a search warrant in Mesquite but Lombardo said that although items were recovered from the search, nothing of use has come up yet. FBI officers will be searching another property in northern Nevada associated with the gunman.
• Police say this remains an active investigation and the FBI is asking for anyone with videos or photos concerning the shooting to call 1-800-CALLFBI or (800) 225-5324. Victim advocates and trauma counselors are being made available to anyone affected by the shooting.
As well, a gofundme page has been established to give relief and financial support to the victims and families of the horrific Las Vegas mass shooting. The goal is $2.5 million. It was at $2.25 million Monday night.