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

Future of Sandspit Inn hangs in the balance, Transport Canada not renewing lease

Transport Canada and Sandspit Community Society set to discuss options

UPDATED: Ferry cancellations and significant wind warning in effect for Haida Gwaii

Loose objects may be tossed by the wind says Environment Canada, BC Ferries cancels sailings

Adverse weather conditions lead to pair of ferry cancellations

Northern Expedition sailings from Prince Rupert and Skidegate affected

This week in photos | The spirit of giving comes to Haida Gwaii

Masset Lions Telethon, Queen Charlotte’s annual craft fair, Fields store coming along in Skidegate

Snowfall warning continues for parts of B.C.’s Interior

First significant snowfall of the season prompts Environment Canada warning

VIDEO: Andrew Scheer to resign as Conservative leader

Decision comes after weeks of Conservative infighting following the October election

Be aware of ticks when chopping down Christmas trees

Potential for ticks to transfer to clothing

More rowers come forward with complaints about coach, criticism of UVic

Barney Williams is accused of verbal abuse and harassment

Raptors fans show Kawhi the love in his return to Toronto

Leonard receives championship ring, leads new club to win

Process to identify those killed in Gabriola plane crash could take days

Canadian flight museum suggests Alex Bahlsen of Mill Bay died in Tuesday’s crash

Sentencing hearings begin as Prince Rupert man pleads guilty to possession of child pornography

Mike Christopher Hagen charged with possession of child pornography earlier this year

‘Honest mistake:’ RCMP says B.C. cannabis shop can keep image of legendary Mountie

Sam Steele wearing military, not RCMP uniform in image depicted in Jimmy’s Cannabis window

B.C. conservation officers put down fawn blinded by pellet gun on Vancouver Island

Young deer found near construction site in Hammond Bay area in Nanaimo, B.C.

Laid-off forest workers converge on B.C. legislature

Loggers call for action on strike, provincial stumpage

Most Read