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)

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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Interior Health update. File photo.
86 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

The new deaths are from Heritage Square, a long-term care facility in Vernon

Sickle Point as seen from the air. (Kaleden Community Association - David Mai)
Second town hall for Sickle Point on Jan. 27

The first town hall was cut short due to technical issues

Nate Brown photo
Okanagan-Shuswap says goodbye sunshine, hello winter

Temperatures are forecasted to drop by mid-next week

The facility in Summerland has 112 long-term care beds. Interior Health funds 75 of the beds. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Six more months for temporary Summerland Seniors Village adminstrator

The temporary administrator was appointed following site visits and concerns from Interior Health

President Donald Trump speaks to the media before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021 in Washington. The President is traveling to Texas. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Black Press Weekly Roundup: Top headlines this week

In case you missed it, here’s what made waves throughout the week

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

A COVID-19 outbreak at Vernon's Heritage Square long-term care home has claimed seven people. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Two more COVID-19 deaths at Vernon care home

Heritage Square has now lost seven people due to the outbreak

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

(Big White Ski Resort photo)
13 more cases of COVID-19 tied to Big White Mountain cluster

This brings the total case count to 175, of which 32 cases are active

RCMP on scene at a home on Sylvania Cres. (Phil McLachlan /Capital News/FILE)
Two Kelowna men arrested after Rutland home invasion

Two Kelowna men, including a prolific offender, facing slew of potential charges

Most Read