Riverside County, CA
More than a dozen victims of the mass shooting in Las Vegas hailed from Southern California, including several from Riverside County, and the number continued to rise Tuesday as relatives identified the dead.
Authorities said 59 people were killed in Sunday night’s massacre, which was carried out by former Southern California resident Stephen Paddock, 64.
Learn about some of the local victims whose identities have become public:
Angela Gomez, 20, of Riverside, graduated from Polytechnic High School in 2015, then attended Riverside City College. "This is a tremendous loss for the Riverside Unified family, and we are shaken and saddened by this news,” according to the Riverside Unified School District. "Poly High staff remember Angela Gomez — also known as ‘Angie’ — as a fun-loving young lady with a great sense of humor. They say she loved the stage and participated for many years with Riverside Children’s Theater, as well as being involved in her middle and high school choirs.”
Carrie Barnette, 34, had recently purchased a home in Riverside, and worked at a cafe at Disney’s California Adventure theme park in Anaheim. "Carrie Barnette had been a member of the Disney California Adventure culinary team for 10 years and was beloved by her friends and colleagues,” said Walt Disney Co. Chairman and CEO Robert Iger." Our thoughts are with her family, along with our support, during this incredibly difficult time.”
Christopher "Chris” Roybal, 28, of Riverside, spent a decade in the Navy and had recently finished a tour of duty in Afghanistan. "He went to combat and came back without being injured, and then goes to a concert and dies,” the victim’s mother, Debby Allen, told reporters in Las Vegas. Roybal was set to celebrate his 29th birthday next week, she said.
Hannah Ahlers, 35, of Murrieta, was married and had three children. Her family said she was "beautiful inside and out and loved life and people. She was our sunshine.”
Rocio Guillen, 40, of Eastvale, had recently given birth to her fourth child. Relatives said she had recently gotten engaged. Her ex-husband expressed his pain on Facebook, writing, "Words cannot explain how much is hurts me to see the pain in my boys’ eyes when they found out that their mom was taken from them last night in Las Vegas by a senseless act of violence.”
Thomas Day Jr., 54, of Corona, was a homebuilder and attended the concert with all four of his children. "He was the best dad,” father, Thomas Day Sr., told the Los Angeles Times. "That’s why the kids were with him.”
Austin Davis, 29, a pipefitter from Riverside, was attending the concert with family friends. His girlfriend, Aubree Hennigan, had pleaded for help finding him after the shooting, but later confirmed that Davis was among the dead. “Tonight we lost an amazing man,” she wrote on Facebook. “Austin, my love, I can’t believe this happened. You didn’t deserve this.”
Sandy Casey, 35, a special education teacher at Manhattan Beach Middle School. Casey worked at the Manhattan Beach Unified School District for nine years. "We lost a spectacular teacher who devoted her life to helping some of our most needy students,” Superintendent Mike Matthews said.
Rachael Parker, 33, was a records technician for the Manhattan Beach Police Department. She was one of four members of the MBPD at the concert. A police officer was also shot but suffered only minor injuries. "She was employed with the Manhattan Beach Police Department for 10 years and will be greatly missed,” according to the department.
John Phippen, 56, of Valencia, owned a remodeling company known as JP Specialties. He attended the country music festival with his son, Travis, who was shot in an arm but helped treat more than a dozen wounded people in the crowd. "He was my best friend,” Travis told the Los Angeles Times about his
father. "He never did anything wrong to anybody. He was always kind and gentle.”
Jenny Parks was a Lancaster kindergarten teacher and mother of two. According to a GoFundMe page established for the family, Parks "was a wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend, teacher and so much more. He touched many lives." Her life was cut far too short on the last night of the Route 91 Harvest Festival. She leaves behind her husband, Bobby, and young children, Bryce and Leah, parents and brothers and their families. Let’s show our support to her family as we mourn this sad loss.” Her husband was shot in an arm during the melee.
Christina Duarte, 22, of Torrance, was attending the concert with her brother’s girlfriend. She was initially reported missing following the shooting, but friends told the Daily Breeze Tuesday she had been confirmed dead. The graduate of South High School and University of Arizona worked in fan services for the Los Angeles Kings.
Melissa Ramirez, 26, was a Littlerock native who graduated from Cal State Bakersfield in 2014 with a degree in business administration. According to a memorial Facebook page, she lived in North Hollywood and worked for the Automobile Club of Southern California. Ramirez was a sports fan who loved the Philadelphia Eagles, Los Angeles Lakers, Dodgers and USC Trojans. She posted a picture of herself and a friend at the Las Vegas music festival on Instagram on Saturday. “Please keep the Ramirez family in your prayers,” a relative wrote on a GoFundMe page. “Keep them in your thoughts and celebrate the life of a young woman who has gone to be with the Lord.”
Brian Fraser of La Palma was a Greenpath mortgage sales manager, and a graduate of Cal Poly Pomona. “There is no way of putting the loss of an amazing husband, father, son, brother, cousin, uncle and friend into simple words,” a friend wrote on one of two GoFundMe pages set up in Fraser’s memory. “A bigger-than-life man taken far too soon. Brian was a rock of love and support to his family. He was a father that all four of his kids adored and looked up to. A husband that loved his wife with all his heart.”
Michelle Vo, 34, worked at New York Life Insurance in the Glendale/Pasadena area. She grew up in Northern California, attending UC Davis. One of her co-workers wrote on Facebook that she was “such an inspiration to so many of us.” “Anytime I had a question she would always be there, in the computer lab, on the phone, in the lobby, etc. I’m in shock,” the co-worker wrote. `You were a true girl boss and will be truly missed.”
Lisa Patterson of Lomita was married with three children. Her husband, Bob, told reporters in Las Vegas the couple had been together for more than 30 years. Bob Patterson was a coach and umpire with the Palos Verdes Girls Softball League, and Lisa was a regular volunteer and supporter of the league. “Lisa had an infectious energy and fierce love for her family, and we are beyond heartbroken for Bob and their three kids,” friend Andy Tamilin wrote on a GoFundMe page. He said Patterson and her husband “spent endless hours donating their time and energy to help the girls of our community.”
Jordyn Rivera, 21, was a native of La Verne and graduate of Bonita High School. She was attending Cal State San Bernardino, where she was studying health-care management. “I personally got a chance to know her when we spent time together last summer in London during the summer abroad program,” CSUSB President Tomas Morales wrote in an email to students. “As one of her faculty members noted, we will remember and treasure her for her warmth, optimism, energy and kindness.”
Jennifer Irvine, 42, ran a family-law and criminal-defense practice out of an office high-rise near San Diego’s El Cortez hotel. “My good friend, colleague, and business partner Jennifer Irvine was killed by a madman at the festival in Las Vegas,” attorney Thomas Slattery of Coronado posted on his Facebook page. “A tragic loss of a kind, generous, and beautiful lady. She will be greatly missed.”
Susan Smith, 53, was an office manager for the Simi Valley Unified School District. She worked for the district for 16 years.
Dana Gardner, 52, was a deputy recorder-county clerk in San Bernardino, where she had worked since 1991. She attended the concert with one of her daughters.
Kelsey Meadows, 27, was a substitute teacher in Taft. Meadows has family in the Beaumont area. Her brother took to Facebook to say, "My family and I want to take a minute to thank everyone that has been trying to help us locate my sister. So it is with an absolutely shattered heart that I let everyone know that Kelsey did not survive this tragic event." A family friend, Kim Perry, wrote "My hear is broken and I am at a loss for words. Kelsey Meadows May you Rest In Peace pretty girl. You will be deeply missed. Love and prayers for you and the entire Meadows family."
Candice Bowers from the Orange County area. A gofundme page created to aid her three children gives insight to the loving person and family member she was, "Candice left this world doing what she loved, dancing to country music among loved ones. She will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her. This fund will be utilized to aid her three children with all costs related to her memorial services. Any contribution will be accepted with the utmost gratitude and will be put toward commemorating a beautiful life."