LAS VEGAS — Three Canadians are among the dozens killed in the horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas Sunday night.
Jessica Klymchuk of Valleyview, Alta., Jordan McIldoon, 23 of Maple Ridge, B.C., and Calla Medig of Jasper, Alta., were brutally shot down at a country music festival when 64-year-old Stephen Paddock opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino just after 10 p.m. According to CBC, this brings the number of Canadians killed in the massacre to at least three, with several other Canadians remaining in hospital.
Klymchuk was an educational assistant, librarian and bus driver for St. Stephen’s School, said the Holy Family Catholic Regional Division. A post on Klymchuk’s Facebook page says she got engaged in April, and was in Las Vegas at the time of the shooting with her fiancé. She was also a mother of four.
McIldoon would have turned 24 on Friday and was a month shy of completing a course to qualify as a heavy-duty mechanic. His parents, Al and Angela, confirmed their son’s death, and said he was attending the music festival with his girlfriend. They wrote that he was their only child, and that he was a “self-described cowboy boot, tattoo-covered redneck who loved the outdoors.”
Heather Gooze, a bartender working at the concert that night, held McIldoon in her arms as he died. “I felt his fingers, like, tighten and then loosen,” she said. His mother called her son’s phone, which Gooze answered. She promised Angela that she would stay with her son, which she did for nearly six hours.
Medig, who was in her 20s, was the third Canadian confirmed dead in the attack. Described as a kind-hearted young woman, her death prompted an outpouring of condolences on social media. A former co-worker wrote on Facebook: “Calla was among the kindest and warm-hearted beautiful souls I have ever had the pleasure to know.”
The Jasper Royal Canadian Legion branch lowered its flag Monday in honour of Medig.
CBC reports that two Manitoba women and two men from Saskatchewan were injured in the attack and are currently in hospital. One of the men, who was shot in the head, is unresponsive.
Jody Ansell, of Stonewall, Man., was among the injured. She said in a Facebook message from her hospital bed that she was recovering.
“I was shot in the right arm and the medical staff are taking care of me,” Ansell said.
Another Canadian recovering in hospital is Sheldon Mack of Victoria.
“Sustained 2 gunshot wounds, a ruptured colon, and a broken forearm,” Mack tweeted from his hospital bed. “My friend used his belt as a tourniquet and cut of the blood, but it all happened crazy fast – it seems not real,” he said.
There were also reports that Tara Smith Roe of Okotoks, Alta., was missing after being separated from her husband at the concert.
“Tara Smith is a part of the Sophia Models family,” the Calgary-based modelling company said on its Facebook page Monday night. “We pray that she is safe and will return home soon.”
Global Affairs, which will be deploying a team of consular officials to Las Vegas to assist Canadians, is working closely with U.S. authorities to identify any Canadians hurt in the attack.
By Monday afternoon, officials confirmed that at least 59 people were killed and 527 injured, making it the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
With file from The Canadian Press