Strangers gather outside Las Vegas massacre site to honor victims

For the first time since Sunday’s mass shooting, mourners were able to gather and grieve together as close to the scene of the massacre as police would allow.

Tourists and many locals turned a median on the south end of Las Vegas Boulevard into an island of candlelight as strangers joined together to mourn the 58 people shot and killed Sunday in the country’s largest mass shooting in modern history.

People shared stories and photos from a night that many said was the worst of their lives.

“It feels like a nightmare you can’t wake up from,” said Kelly Kaan, a 27-year-old tourist from Ann Arbor, Michigan. “A nightmare in paradise.”

Kaan said she was standing outside Mandalay Bay, waiting to meet up with a friend, when the shooting started. She saw a light flashing in a window high above before she was swept away by other bystanders.

“I didn’t know what was happening,” she said. “They said there was shooting and I had to run, so I ran.”

Outside the shooting scene

Early Wednesday morning, the Route 91 Harvest Festival stage sat dark, blocked off by yellow crime scene tape and police officers in patrol vehicles.

Locals stopped and knelt in the crosswalk next to tourists from around the world, lighting and relighting candles as the wind blew them out. A poster covered in handwritten messages of hope and prayer sat nestled between votive candles.

“My heart is with you. My tears are yours and for your families. We may be strangers but We are One,” one message read.

“Love Eats Hate.” read another, signed in block black letters.

Employees from Blüm, a local marijuana dispensary, parked a van loaded with snacks and bottles of water next to the memorial.

One Blüm employee, Jimmy White, was working his second job as a security guard on the Strip the night of the shooting.

“I had my own experience and my own demons that I’m dealing with,” White said. “This is my way to release, to help out other people.”

Two Metropolitan police officers parked motorcycles behind the Blüm van to reroute traffic around, and several others walked over from the blockade to pay their respects. They shook hands and posed for photos with mourners.

“This is bringing together people who would never talk to each other or try to understand each other,” said Jonathan Ibarra, another Blüm employee. “We’re here to take care of this community that took care of us.”

‘Drinking and doing Vegas things’

On the opposite end of the Strip, the smoky smell of hundreds of candles wafted through the air at a makeshift memorial that was set up across from the World’s Largest Gift Shop.

People trickled past, a few at a time, near the memorial at the intersection of the Strip and Sahara Avenue, leaving handwritten messages, relighting candles and kneeling in prayer.

The digital marquees of most of the Strip’s major casinos bore the same message: “We’ve been there for you during the good times. Thank you for being there for us now. #VegasStrong”

But below the marquees, on the sidewalks, in the streets and in the casinos, people were ready to party. Men in suits and women in dresses clutched frozen alcoholic drinks. Slot machines rang inside casinos and The Chainsmokers & Coldplay’s “Something Just Like This” blared from speakers at the Fashion Show Mall.

At another makeshift memorial for victims of Sunday’s shootings in front of the Bellagio fountains, Brandon Graham and Sam Reale paid their respects. The two Ontario, Canada, residents arrived in Las Vegas Tuesday for a trip they’d planned months ago.

“It was kind of shocking news in the morning but we weren’t going to let it ruin our trip,” Graham said. Since they arrived, they’d just been “drinking and doing Vegas things.”

For a moment the two looked at a Canadian flag draped over the memorial inscribed with prayers and well wishes.

“From your Canadian family, stay strong,” one message read.

Shocked, mad, sad, hurt

Back up at the memorial at the Strip’s north end, mourners continued to visit well past 3 a.m.

Locals Yvonne Sigarroba and Joseph Muro came to leave their own message at the site.

“It’s unexplainable,” Sigarroba said. “I feel shocked, mad, sad … hurt. Confused.”

Muro, a manager at Omnia Nightclub, went back to work for the first time on Tuesday and said it felt “eerie.” He compared the feeling to the days and weeks following 9/11.

Sigarroba, a hairdresser, said that her clients had been talking about the shooting with her all day. They needed someone to talk to, she said.

“It’s kind of a good thing because it keeps it fresh. It keeps me remembering, because I don’t want to forget this,” Sigarroba said. “This isn’t something you should forget. It makes me grateful. It makes me grateful to be here.”

Contact Madelyn Reese at mreese@viewnews.com. Follow @MadelynGReese on Twitter. Contact Max Michor at mmichor@reviewjournal.com. Follow @MaxMichor on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Local
North Las Vegas Water Meters
Randy DeVaul shows off the new water meters that the city is installing.
Project 150 Thanksgiving 2018
About 100 volunteers for Project 150 box Thanksgiving meals for high school students and their families in Las Vegas on Wednesday, Nov. 14.
Three Square’s Maurice Johnson Talks About Food Waste
Three Square’s director of operations Maurice Johnson talks about food waste.
Parade preparation nears completion
Downtown Summerlin prepares for its annual holiday parade.
Clark County Wetlands promotes 2019 Wetland Walker Program
This year the park will be celebrating the Northern Flicker. The program is designed to teach about that bird, and encourage people to visit the Wetlands and walk the same distance the bird migrates each year.
Poet’s Walk Henderson introduces storytelling
Residents enjoy a storytelling activity.
Downtown Summerlin hosts its annual Festival of Arts
People crowd to Downtown Summerlin for the 23rd annual Summerlin Festival of Arts in Las Vegas, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Clark County educators debate alternative grading systems
Spring Valley High School principal Tam Larnerd, Spring Valley High School IB coordinator Tony Gebbia and retired high school teacher Joyce O'Day discuss alternative grading systems. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Grandparents on the fire that killed three family members
Charles and Doris Smith talk about the night an apartment fire took the lives of three of their family members. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
New York artist Bobby Jacobs donated a sculpture to the Las Vegas Healing Garden
Bobby Jacobs, an artist from upstate New York, has spent much of the past year creating a sculpture of two separate angel wings. He donated the sculpture to the Las Vegas Healing Garden. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Weather will cool slightly through the end of the week
The weather will cool slightly through the end of the week., but highs are still expected to be slightly above normal for this year. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Mayor announces new public-private partnership
Mayor Carolyn Goodman announced the creation of the Mayor’s Fund for Las Vegas LIFE, a public-private partnership that will allocate money to the city’s neediest.
Fremont9 opens downtown
Fremont9 apartment complex has opened in downtown Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Fall fairytale gets cozy at Bellagio Conservatory
Bellagio Conservatory introduces its fall-themed garden titled "Falling Asleep." (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
What the house that Ted Binion died in looks like today
Casino heir Ted Binion died in this Las Vegas home in 1998. Current home owner Jane Popple spent over $600,000 to restore and modernize the home. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Rescue Mission employees terminated
Don James, a former employee for the Las Vegas Rescue Mission, talks about the day his team was terminated. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders Cupcakes at Freed's Bakery
Freed's Bakery will have Raiders-themed cupcakes available in store and for order during football season. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
51s fans say goodbye to Cashman Field
Las Vegas 51s fans said goodbye to Cashman Field in Las Vegas, Monday September, 3, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
51s owner Don Logan's last weekend at Cashman Field
Don Logan, owner of the Las Vegas 51s, gives a tour of Cashman Field before the team's final weekend using the field. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Crime
Man killed during road-rage incident
Las Vegas police are looking for two men involved in the shooting death of a man outside a 7-Eleven story at Bonanza Road and Maryland Parkway on Nov. 12, 2018. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
16-year-old shot in North Las Vegas
A 16-year-old was hospitalized but was expected to survive after a shooting in North Las Vegas, near Centennial Parkway and Fifth Street, on Tuesday, November 13, 2018. North Las Vegas police spokesman Aaron Patty gives an update. (Katelyn Newberg/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
3-year-old boy shot in North Las Vegas
North Las Vegas Police Officer Aaron Patty talks about an accidental shooting that left a 3-year-old boy “fighting for his life” on Nov. 10, 2018.
Senior Citizen Carjacking Attack -- 3 Suspects Sought
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police detectives are seeking the public's assistance in identifying the three attackers who carjacked and beat a 78-year-old man near Fremont and east Charleston on Tuesday. (LVMPD)
Henderson Police Department Chief Latesha Watson Talks Change
11-year-old girl shot, killed in North Las Vegas
An 11-year-old girl is dead after she was struck by gunfire Thursday night during a shooting in North Las Vegas
North Las Vegas police on deadly shooting
North Las Vegas police spokesman Eric Leavitt briefs the media about a shooting that left an 11-year-old girl dead on Nov. 1, 2018. (Katelyn Newberg/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Stephan Bonnar DUI Arrest
Stephan Bonnar arrested for DUI in Nevada.
Family members of murder victims talk about their loss
Family members of murder victims talk about their loss. Susan Nash, 52, was killed in a shooting along with her daughter and one of her three sons on Sunday night. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Sayegh Cold Case Turns 40
Cary Sayegh was abducted from the playground of the Albert Einstein Hebrew Day School in Las Vegas in 1978. His body has never been found. (File Photo)
Review held in death of man after encounter with Las Vegas police
The mother of Tashii Brown, who died after an encounter with Las Vegas police on the Strip, not satisfied after public review of evidence. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vehicle of Interest in January Homicide
Las Vegas police released footage Friday of a “vehicle of interest” from a deadly shooting in January. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
Hostage escapes clutches of robber before shooting
Metropolitan Police Department footage shows a man wearing a motorcycle helmet, identified by police as 27-year-old Mario B. Trejo, with one arm wrapped around a woman’s neck and held a handgun to her head.
Sunset Park Vigil
A small group of people gathered in Sunset Park to remember the three children recently killed in the area.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like