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Plans revived for permanent Route 91 shooting victims memorial

Updated September 26, 2019 - 10:31 pm

CARSON CITY — After being stalled for more than a year, Nevada and Clark County officials on Thursday announced a renewed effort to design and build a permanent memorial to the victims of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

Gov. Steve Sisolak and Clark County Commission Chairwoman Marilyn Kirkpatrick have teamed up to form an official 1 October Memorial Committee that will be tasked with working with victims’s families, survivors and other community members to develop ideas for a permanent memorial, the governor’s office said in a news release Thursday.

The memorial will commemorate victims of the Route 91 Harvest festival shooting, which left 58 people dead and hundreds wounded.

“Like many Nevadans, I will never forget the devastation we all felt in the wake of such an evil act, but I also take great pride in the bravery of our first responders, the everyday heroes who protected strangers, and the community that came together like never before to help, mourn and begin healing.

“This committee will work to ensure the 1 October Memorial provides a place to remember the heartbreaking losses and honor the resiliency of Las Vegans,” Kirkpatrick said in a statement.

The seven members proposed to sit on the committee include:

■ Karessa Royce, who survived the shooting.

■ Mynda Smith, whose sister Neysa Tonks was one of the 58 killed in the shooting.

■ Tennille Pereira, director of the Vegas Strong Resiliency Center.

■ Andrew Walsh, deputy chief with the Metropolitan Police Department.

■ Rebecca Holden, vice chair of the Clark County Arts Committee.

■ Dr. Robert Fielden, Clark County Arts Committee member.

■ Harold Bradford, Clark County Arts Committee at-large member.

The Clark County Commission is scheduled to vote on creating the committee and approving the proposed members at its meeting on Wednesday.

Commissioner James Gibson, who represents the district that includes the site of the shooting, will also be assisting the committee, Sisolak’s office said.

“As we near the anniversary of the 1 October tragedy, I am grateful to work together with the Clark County Commission to finalize a committee that will begin the important process of creating a memorial to remember the victims and honor those who acted heroically,” Sisolak said in a statement.

“I am confident that my four recommended appointees will offer critical insight and guidance during the process, and help the rest of the committee work with families of victims, survivors, first responders and those affected in our community as they continue to heal.”

The new effort to design a permanent memorial comes more than a year after the county first announced plans to form the committee. In July 2018, then-Gov. Brian Sandoval accepted an invitation by the commission to chair the committee that was to design, fund and build a memorial to the victims. That committee never met, however.

Contact Capital Bureau Chief Colton Lochhead at clochhead@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-3820. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter.

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