Las Vegas marks sixth anniversary of Route 91 Harvest festival mass shooting

LAS VEGAS — Family members, friends and survivors gathered in Las Vegas on Sunday to mark the sixth anniversary of a mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest festival.

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Hundreds of people, including survivors, law enforcement officers, first responders and elected officials began a somber day of remembrance with a 7:30 a.m. PDT ceremony at the Clark County Government Center Amphitheater, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

A shooter opened fire from a hotel room on the Las Vegas Strip and sprayed gunfire at the audience attending the festival on Oct. 1, 2017, killing 58 people at the site. Two more people later died from their injuries, and more than 500 people were injured in what has been described as the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

The shooter was later identified as Stephen Paddock, who opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel, which overlooked the festival site, the Review-Journal reported. Paddock then fatally shot himself, police said.

Sunday’s event featured live music from country music singer Pat Dalton, a survivor of the shooting, KSNV-TV reported. There was a moment of silence observed for those who died in the shooting, and remarks by Gov. Joe Lombardo and Steve Gomez, the father of Angela Gomez, who died at the site.

Dalton performed his song, “Forever Family,” and “Amazing Grace,” according to the television station.

A reading of the names ceremony was held Sunday night, with Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman and David Riggleman, the communications director for the city, reciting the names of the victims.

“We do believe that you all agree with us that what happened on this day changed the lives of many people, including ours,” Steve Gomez said. “We became members of a club that we didn’t volunteer for.”

Alan McIldoon traveled from Canada to remember his son, 23-year-old Jordan McIldoon, who visited Las Vegas annually to attend the NASCAR event in the city. Jordan McIldoon was also killed in the shooting.

“We don’t want to forget him,” McIldoon, who lives in Penticton, British Columbia, told the Review-Journal. “We keep going forward every day. It’s not easy but we do our best.”

“This is always an emotional day for all of us, for the family members who lost loves ones, for the thousands of survivors, for the first responders, and for our entire community,” Clark County Sheriff Kevin McMahill told the audience Sunday morning.

“As each year goes by, it doesn’t get easier to grieve the lives we lost,” Lombardo said. “While it doesn’t get any easier, we can take solace in the continual strength and resiliency of the Vegas Strong community.”

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