A model with two young sons and a restaurant employee about to be promoted to manager are among the Canadians confirmed dead in a mass shooting at a country music show in Las Vegas.
Tara Roe, who was 34 and lived in Okotoks, Alta., was there with her husband, Zach, and another couple for a weekend getaway, her aunt Val Rodgers said Tuesday.
“They were there just to have a good time and to enjoy a concert.”
Rodgers said Roe died when a gunman opened fire from the window of a hotel on Sunday night. Nearly 60 people were killed and hundreds were injured.
“She was a beautiful soul,” Rodgers said from her home in Brandon, Man. “She was a wonderful mother and our family is going to miss her dearly.”
Roe worked with Calgary modelling agency Sophia Models International for 10 years, said owner Bill Giofu.
“She was always a friendly face when she came in to see us at the agency, a very caring spirit,” he said.
Roe also worked as an educational assistant at the Foothills School Division.
“We have put our crisis response team in place and they will remain as long as is needed to assist students and staff,” John Bailey, superintendent of schools, said in a statement.
Her family issued a statement Tuesday saying they were devastated by the loss.
“The family is incredibly grateful for the outpouring of love and support and we send our condolences to the many other grieving families who’ve also lost a loved one, or are impacted by the horrific event that has unfolded.”
The family requested privacy in their grief over “this unthinkable tragedy.”
Lyndsay Perham’s childhood friend, Calla Medig, was also shot at the Route 91 Harvest Festival. Going to Las Vegas for the festival had become an annual tradition for the country music fan, Perham said.
“She was a very loyal friend. We always had fun together,” said Perham, who grew up with Medig in the Rocky Mountain town of Jasper, Alta. “We had a very tight-knit group of girls and we just did everything together growing up.”
Medig, 28, was with her best friend when she was shot, Perham said. The friend managed to get Medig to a hospital, where she died.
Medig had taken time off from her job at a Moxie’s restaurant in west Edmonton to attend the festival, said her boss Scott Collingwood.
When news broke about the shooting, Collingwood said he immediately called Medig, but it went right to voice mail. She didn’t answer texts or Facebook messages either.
On Monday, he called her roommate, who went to Vegas with Medig, and heard the terrible news.
“She was a little bit of everything around here. She was kind of a rock and, as of Thursday, she would have been our newest manager,” Collingwood said. “A lot of us around here have super heavy hearts and we already miss her.”
Another Alberta woman, Jessica Klymchuk, was identified as one of the shooting victims on Monday.
Klymchuk was a mother of four who lived in the northwestern Alberta town of Valleyview, where she worked as an educational assistant, librarian and bus driver at an area Catholic school.
St. Stephen’s School was planning a candlelight vigil for her on Tuesday night. A family friend has set up a crowdfunding page to support Klymchuk’s children.
“Jessica was an amazing mother who worked to provide her children with as best a life as she could,” Noella Marie wrote on the GoFundMe page, adding Klymchuk was engaged to the “love of her life,” Brent Irla.
Another Canadian victim, Jordan 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, Alan and Angela, said he grew up on a rural property in Maple Ridge, B.C., and loved the outdoors.
“Our son Jordan was a compassionate young man who lived a life full of adventures,” they said in a statement. “From a young age, he was fearless.”
They recalled finding him perched on the barn roof when he was two and seeing him leap into the deep end of a lake before he could swim.
He loved hockey, snowboarding and doing tricks on his bike.
“He loved riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle and driving his big redneck diesel truck,” the couple wrote. “He loved NASCAR and country music and was rarely seen out of his cowboy boots.”
Bartender Heather Gooze was serving McIldoon when the gunfire began. He was shot in the stomach and Gooze said she helped carry him out.
She said she held his hand.
“The fingers kind of squeezed and then just stopped. You don’t have to be a doctor to know,” she said. “And I kept thinking about if this was me, would people stay with me? Would they make sure that I was OK?
“I couldn’t go.”
— With files from Mary Jo Laforest in Edmonton and ABC News