After Las Vegas shooting, UNLV Rebels coach looking forward

The scar begins at his left collarbone and runs toward the chest, where it crosses under his sternum and around toward the back.

It’s shaped like the letter C.

There is also a permanent mark from where the bullet entered, barely missing a lung and instead burying itself in the latissimus dorsi muscle, which surgeons discovered after opening him up and meticulously searching through the damage.

Follow the Review Journal Coverage of Oct. 1 Anniversary
Follow the Review Journal Coverage of Oct. 1 Anniversary

There was no exit wound. It was in there somewhere.

Nick Robone has the terror replayed each day in the mirror, the result of those 70 staples used to close the vast wound, a harsh and yet motivational reminder about what happened and how he refuses to let it define him.

“It’s something I see every morning, but I think it’s a good thing,” he said. “It reminds me that life is short and you need to cherish it.”

It’s not as if he blinked and a year passed, although that’s how he feels, and now life as Robone treasures has returned to its conventional ways.

The assistant hockey coach at UNLV is back on ice tutoring the Rebels.

Scars are also about healing.

He believes that which happens is meant to be. That destiny plays a starring role. So he doesn’t question attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival last Oct. 1, doesn’t believe he should have left his recreation hockey league game and simply went home, doesn’t regret agreeing to meet his younger brother and friends to watch country star Jason Aldean perform.

When a bullet penetrates your body, when your flesh absorbs the momentum, when major organs and blood vessels are put at risk as tissue is crushed and forced apart, when a massive cavity is formed, fate ultimately decides the severity of your injuries.

Whether you are badly hurt or escape with manageable to little harm.

Whether, often, you live or die.

In this manner, fortune smiled on Robone, the bullet’s trajectory turning away from his heart by inches.

“If it hits there,” he said, “I’m dead.”

A city unites

The calamity of a mass shooting in which 58 perished and more than 700 were injured from bullets sprayed across festival grounds from a suite at Mandalay Bay is not lost on Robone, but even now, recalling the instant he realized he had been shot, blood pouring from his nose and mouth, his brother the firefighter immediately assessing the situation and how best to carry Nick to a safer location, there is a sense of perspective.

An awareness of how such tragedy, even when you are one of those most affected, can unite.

“It was an unfortunate event that happened, but it only made me stronger as a person mentally and made me aware how awesome this community is, how much I want to give back,” Robone said. “It’s unfortunate something like this had to occur to see the community come together, but at the same time, it was a beautiful thing.

“I don’t sweat small stuff. I know it’s a cliche, but you never know what can happen when you walk out those doors. I’m going to live life to the fullest and be a good human being, because when you’re gone, the only thing that matters is what you did for others and how you made people feel.”

He hasn’t read much about the shooter. Maybe a few stories. A graduate of Centennial High and UNLV who earned his master’s in athletic administration and sports marketing from Western Kentucky, Robone is 28 and doesn’t think it is worth his or anyone’s time to educate themselves about a person for whom no one will ever truly understand those motives that led to such an unforgettable moment in time.

Instead, amazingly, incredibly, perhaps incomprehensibly, he gives thanks.

For his brother, Anthony, and dear friend, Billy Tufano, who led him away from the scene and were with him until the ambulance arrived.

For a thoracic surgeon like Dr. Arnold Chung, because in a world where sports stars and Hollywood celebrities are idolized and placed upon unreachable pedestals, well, if you’re looking for a real hero, try the guy who decides your injuries to be the next worst after those lying near you on gurneys, shot in the head and heart, have passed.

The guy who sees your chest has ballooned to three times its normal size and is a portrait of black and blue and that your blood pressure has dropped to life-threatening levels and your chances at surviving seem to be circling the drain.

The guy who then opens you up and goes searching for that bullet.

For the Vegas Golden Knights, whose inspiring NHL expansion season and run to a Stanley Cup Final was better than any medication or physical therapy in helping Robone heal.

For their coaches and players befriending him.

For the city in which he was born and raised, the outpouring of care and support from family and friends to UNLV players and staff to complete strangers.

“I don’t know where I would be if he hadn’t made it,” said Anthony Robone, a 26-year-old firefighter in Henderson. “I can’t imagine how those who lost loved ones feel. I had to pronounce two people dead at the scene. A person next to me got shot in the head. The thought of losing my brother … those three hours he was in surgery were just gut-wrenching for my parents and me. Sometimes, it still feels like yesterday. I’m just so happy he’s alive.”

Keeping the faith

The descriptions vary about what it feels like to be shot. Wet. Numb. Stinging. Dull. Electric. Hot. Blinding pain. Robone wasn’t even sure it happened until he felt blood in his mouth.

And, you know, that large hole in his chest.

In our deepest, darkest times, faith is often the strength by which we survive. It’s what Robone leaned on when, one arm draped around his brother and the other his friend, he ran-walked away from the sound of more bullets, when he waited for a second ambulance because the first one took those in even worse shape, when he awoke from an induced coma two days later and began the long, painful, grueling process of recovery.

“I believe there is definitely a higher power and everything happens for a reason and the universe works in mysterious ways, that there definitely is a God and He was looking over me that night,” Robone said. “Things happen in life people can’t control.

“(Being angry) isn’t worth it. I’m not going to lie — I was definitely angry the first few days. You’re upset and frustrated. But at the same time, I realized it was a setback and when you get through it, you’re only going to be tougher.

“I can’t believe it has been a year. It has blown by. A lot of it was recovery and then after that, moving forward. It’s important to remember. This isn’t something you want to necessarily forget, but you definitely want to find a way to move forward.”

The scar won’t let him forget.

He sees it each morning.

It just won’t ever define him.

Contact columnist Ed Graney at egraney@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4618. He can be heard on “The Press Box,” ESPN Radio 100.9 FM and 1100 AM, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. Follow @edgraney on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Golden Knights Videos
Golden Edge: Golden Knights Put up Record Amount Shots but Fall Short - VIDEO
The Vegas Golden Knights lose to the Winnipeg Jets 4-1. In the second period the Knights put up a record number of shots on goal but still go back to the locker room down 2-0. David Schoen reports from Winnipeg.
Gallant: Knights played a 'good game' vs. Winnipeg
Gerard Gallant says the Knights played a good game in the loss to Winnipeg on Jan. 15, 2019. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gallant on Golden Knights power play
Gerard Gallant talks about the Golden Knight power play vs. Winnipeg on Jan. 15, 2019. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gerard Gallant on loss to Winnipeg
Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant talks about the team's loss to Winnipeg on Jan. 15, 2019. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Edge Mailbag: Will Brandon Pirri be an official Knight? - VIDEO
Ben Gotz and Adam Hill go over the Golden Knights fans reactions to Jonathan Machessault not making the NHL all star roster and Brandon Pirri potentially joining the Knights.
Gerard Gallant on Winnipeg
Gerard Gallant talks about continuing to play good hockey in Winnipeg. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gallant on facing Winnipeg
Gerard Gallant talks about trying to take 2 points in Winnipeg. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights Win In Overtime Against Blackhawks - VIDEO
The Golden Knights win 4-3 in overtime against the Blackhawks with Shea Theodore scoring the game winning goal. Golden Knights beat writer David Schoen goes over the Knights comeback win.
Gallant on Carpenter goal
Gallant on win
Gallant on overturned goal
Gallant CHI 1
Theodore CHI
Golden Knights Win Streak Ends Against Sharks - VIDEO
The Golden Knights win streak ends after a loss against the San Jose Sharks. Golden Knights reporters David Schoen and Adam Hill go over the Knights giving up two goals in the third period and how the team will recover on the road.
Golden Knights React To Loss Against Sharks - VIDEO
The Golden Knights react to their 3-2 loss against the Sharks including Marc-Andre Fleury, Max Pacioretty and head coach Gerard Gallant.
Golden Edge: Knights beat Rangers for 7th straight win
The RJ's David Schoen and Adam Hill recap the Golden Knights' win over the New York Rangers on January 8, 2019.
CES 2019: VR Hockey Trainer Sense Arena - VIDEO
CES 2019 has a lot of VR options, but none quite as cool for Golden Knights fans as Sense Arena. Former NHL Jan Ludvig and Patrik Eliáš talk about the future benefits and possibilities of technology like this. Eliáš also talks about his experience at his first Golden Knights game this past Sunday when the knights faced off against his former team the New Jersey Devils.
Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant talks on Jan. 7
Gallant talked about forward Brandon Pirri being recalled, injuries and more.
Golden Edge Mailbag - January 7, 2019 - VIDEO
Reporters Ben Gotz and Adam Hill go over all your burning VGK questions and comments
Gallant says the Golden Knights need to keep pressing
Vegas Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant on how important it is that the team keep playing tough down the stretch as things as the race for the top in the Pacific Division remains close.
Golden Edge: Golden Knights Rally Behind Subban
The Vegas Golden Knights pick up their 6th win in a row scoring 3 goals to come back from a 2-0 New Jersey lead. Adam Hill, Ben Gotz, and Dave Schoen report from T-Mobile arena.
Golden Knights on their comeback victory over the the Devils
Vegas Golden Knights players reflect on their come-from-behind win over the New Jersey Devils. Max Pacioretty talks about the becoming a father for the fourth time and then playing.
UNLV hockey program aims for NCAA Division I status
As the hockey culture continues to grow in Las Vegas, UNLV looks to develop its hockey program and eventually reach NCAA division I status. Video produced by Heidi Fang
Schmidt 3rd periods 2
Schmidt 3rd periods
Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant talks on Jan. 5
Gallant talked about the team’s recent run of success in the third period, the schedule and more.
Golden Knights On Five Game Win Streak After Beating Ducks: Golden Edge - VIDEO
The Golden Knights are now on a five game winning streak after beating the Anaheim Ducks 3-2. Golden Knights reporter Adam Hill goes over the Knights win.
Golden Edge: Golden Knights Win with another Goal from Brandon Pirri
The Vegas Golden Knights defeat the LA Kings 2-0 with another goal from Brandon Pirri and shutout number 6 from Marc-Andre Fleury. David Schoen and Adam Hill repot from T-Mobile arena.
Pirri, Fleury on the Golden Knights shutout win over the Kings
Brandon Pirri and Marc-Andre Fleury discuss the team's play that led to the Vegas Golden Knights win over the L.A. Kings.
Golden Edge: Knights Win Big Against Coyotes
The Golden Knights defeat the Arizona Coyotes after scoring three goals in the third period and allowing one goal from a 5-on-3 power play. Golden Knights reporter Ben Gotz breaks down the highlights from the game.
Closing Out 2018 With The Golden Knights
With 2018 coming to a close, Golden Edge host Cassie Soto shares some of the highlights from the end of the Golden Knights inaugural season and the start of year two. While there were many big sports stories in 2018, none might be as historic as what the Golden Knights were able to accomplish in their first year of competition. The team joined the 1967-68 St. Louis Blues as the only professional baseball, basketball, football or hockey team to make it to the championship round. Although the Golden Knights fell short in their hunt to the hoisting the Stanley Cup, the team was able to unite the city of Las Vegas unlike anything ever before and for that, the community thanks them.
Golden Edge: Golden Knights fefeat Kings giving Subban his first win
The Vegas Golden Knights defeat the LA Kings 4-1 and Malcolm Subban gets his first win on the season reported by Ben Gotz and Adam Hill from Los Angeles.
Ryan Reaves describes the flavors in Training Day beer
Ryan Reaves talks about the flavor of Training Day, the new beer from 7Five Brewing that was launched at the PKWY Tavern on West Flamingo Road. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
2018: The Golden Year
The Golden Knights started off the year strong by making it to the Stanley Cup Finals and held many community to be closer with the fans.
Golden Knight Lee Orchard Discusses Career
Golden Knight Lee Orchard discusses his career and what he loves most about being part of an NHL team in Las Vegas.
Ryan Reaves describes his new beer
Golden Knights winger Ryan Reaves talks about his new beer from 7Five Brewing at a launch party at PKWY Tavern on West Flamingo Road. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ryan Reaves visits tavern to launch his beer brand
Ryan Reaves visits the Parkway Tavern to sign autographs for fans and get reactions about his new beer called training day.
Golden Edge: Knights get back in the win column at home
After losing two games in overtime on the road, the Vegas Golden Knights returned home to score a victory over the Colorado Avalanche. David Schoen and Ben Gotz analyze the team's 2-1 victory in their final home game of 2018.
Fleury, Pirri and Stastny recap Golden Knights win over Avalanche
After their 2-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche, Marc-Andre Fleury, Brandon Pirri and Paul Stastny recap the team's performance.
Gallant says Golden Knights were recharged after 3 days off
Vegas Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant talks about the team's win over the Colorado Avalanche and says the time off helped the team perform better.
Golden Knights Suffer Second Consecutive Overtime Loss
The Golden Knights fell to the Kings 4-3 in overtime and will enter the holiday break on a two-game losing streak. Golden Edge reporters Adam Hill and Ben Gotz discuss the loss.
Golden Knights Discuss Overtime Loss to Kings
Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, defenseman Nate Schmidt and head coach Gerard Gallant discuss the 4-3 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Kings ahead of the holiday break.
Golden Knights Owner Bill Foley Talks About First Season
Golden Knights Owner Bill Foley talks about the Knights phenomenal first season of the NHL and how they hope to continue the momentum this season.
Golden Knights Fall To Canadiens In Overtime
Golden Knights lose to the Canadiens 4-3 in overtime. Golden Knights beat reporter David Schoen, Adam Hill and Ben Gotz go over the Knights loss and how Marc-Andre Fleury was upset after the game about a potential high sticking call.
Golden Knights React To Overtime Loss Against Canadiens
Golden Knights react to their 4-3 overtime loss against the Montreal Canadiens.
Golden Knights Santa Surprises Kids with Gifts
Santa (Ryan Reaves) and his helpful elf (Will Carrier) surprised a lucky group of kids with Golden Knights swag and tickets to a game.
Golden Knights Owner Bill Foley Visits Review Journal Studios
Golden Knights owner Bill Foley made some time to tour the Las Vegas Review Journal Studios and sat down with Adam Hill and Ben Gotz for a podcast segment, as well as Ed Graney for an in-studio interview.
Golden Edge: Knights rally to beat the Islanders
Ben Gotz, Adam Hill and David Schoen of the Review-Journal recap the Golden Knights win over the Islanders in their return to the T-Mobile Arena from a 4-game road trip.
Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant previews Islanders game
Gallant discussed William Carrier’s hot streak, shuffling his lines and more.
Gallant NY 4
Gallant NY 3
Gallant NY 2
Gallant NY 1
Gallant NJ 3
Gallant NJ 2
Gallant NJ 1
Golden Knights center Paul Stastny on rejoining the lineup
Golden Knights center Paul Stastny on rejoining the lineup. David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Golden Knights center Paul Stastny discusses his injury
Golden Knights center Paul Stastny discusses his injury. David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Knights center Paul Stastny discusses his return to the ice
Knights center Paul Stastny discusses his return to the ice. David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Deryk Engelland at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas was a new experience for Golden Knights defenseman Deryk Engelland on Wednesday night. He said he was looking forward to spending time with family and going for a skate, as well as lighting the Christmas tree for fans.
Crime
Police Update on Fremont Street Shooting
Lt. Ray Spencer gives an update regarding a homicide investigation that occurred in front of a bus stop near Fremont Street and Casino Center, involving a security officer and another male.
Krystal Whipple arrested in Arizona
Krystal Whipple, charged in the killing of a Las Vegas nail salon manager over a $35 manicure, is expected to return to Nevada to face a murder charge.
Alleged Las Vegas casino con man, who was on the run, appears in court
Mark Georgantas -- who entered a plea deal on a charge of stealing from people he met at Las Vegas casinos, but failed to show up for sentencing -- appearing in court after being captured in Utah. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Memorial service for Kwavon’tia Thomas
Timika Thomas sings during a memorial service for her son, Kwavon’tia Gregory Thomas, at Unity Baptist Church in Las Vegas on Saturday, January 12, 2019. Kwavon’tia was shot and killed on Christmas Eve. (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
LVMPD Looking For Blue Bucket Bandit - VIDEO
On December 31, 2018 detectives with the LVMPD Northwest Area Command Patrol Investigations Section received a report of the theft of a surveillance camera from the front porch of a residence located in the area of West Lake Mead Boulevard and North Rampart Boulevard. The victim in this case became aware of other residents in the neighborhood who had been the victim of similar crimes.
16-year-old boy fatally shot in North Las Vegas
North Las Vegas police were investigating the fatal shooting of a 16-year-old boy on Wednesday, January 9, 2019, marking the department’s first homicide investigation this year. (Katelyn Newberg/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas police piecing together details of fatal shooting
Six hours after the fact, Las Vegas homicide detectives worked to reconstruct the scene of a shooting early Jan. 7 that left one man dead in the southeast valley. (Rio Lacanlale/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas police searching for man in Christmas robbery
A man walked into a business about 2:35 a.m. Dec. 25 on the 5000 block of South Eastern Avenue, near East Tropicana Avenue, and “committed a robbery,” a police release said. Police wrote that a person followed him outside of the business, and the man pointed a gun at him. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
Fatal shooting at Green Valley Ranch casino
Henderson Police Department Lt. Kirk Moore briefs the media on a fatal shooting at Green Valley Ranch casino in Henderson on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019. (Briana Erickson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Police release video of suspect in armed robbery
Las Vegas police released video Monday in an effort to identify a man they said robbed a convenience store clerk at gunpoint last week.
Buffalo Wild Wings Hit and Run
Here's the surveillance of the hit-and-run crash in front of BWW, in which a woman repeatedly crashed into a manager's vehicle in a failed attempt to squeeze into a tight parking spot. She walks in, asks how long the wait is, then storms off after being told of the 10-minute wait time. Footage courtesy of manager Daniel Rees.
Multi-agency DUI Strike Team focused solely on arresting impaired drivers
The newly formed DUI Strike Team made up of Las Vegas police officers and Nevada Highway Patrol Troopers have hit the streets looking for impaired drivers. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jury finds former corrections officers not guilty on all counts
Paul Valdez and Jose Navarrete, two former Nevada Department of Corrections officers accused of using unnecessary force on an inmate were both found not guilty on all charges after a jury deliberated less than 2 hours.
Henderson Constable appears in court
Earl Mitchell, the Henderson Constable indicted on four counts of theft and one count of fraudulent appropriation of property, appeared in court Thursday.
Former FBI agent recalls tragic case 20 years later
Timothy Blackburn robbed a Bank of America depository in December 1998 for more than $1 million — the largest bank robbery in Nevada’s history. After eluding authorities initially, Blackburn was caught and jailed at the North Las Vegas Detention Center. In August 1999, he escaped, guns blazing, with his wife’s help, and disappeared for weeks only to be found at an apartment near Boulder Highway. Former FBI Agent Henry Schlumpf, the lead on the case, remembers vividly the hostage situation that would end tragically. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Officer Shoots Suspect in Nye County - Bodycam
A Nye County Sheriff’s deputy shot and killed a man Thursday night. Jason Paul O’Bannon, 46, died after the altercation with police. Reports of a man firing a weapon outside his house brought police to the scene just after 8 p.m. Detective Wesley Fancher fired the shot that killed O’Bannon, police said. O’Bannon had a “lengthy criminal history” in California and Nevada dating to 1988, according to police
Nye County sheriff news conference on officer-involved shooting
Nye County Sheriff Sharon Wehrly details the police response as officers came under fire Thursday when a man was shooting a rifle in his yard. When the man pointed a weapon at an officer, police opened fire. The man died.
Officer-involved shooting in Nye County
The Nye County Sheriff's Office gives information about a shooting in Pahrump on Thursday night after a man began firing shots outside of his home. (Nye County Sheriff's Office)
Law Enforcement Active Shooter Training Exercise
Multiple Las Vegas Valley law enforcement agencies held an active shooter drill at the Department of Public Safety’s Parole and Probation office on December 6, 2018. Officials set up the training exercise to include multiple active shooters, a barricaded suspect and multiple casualties. (Katelyn Newberg/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dozier execution timeline
Scott Dozier was set to be executed July 11, 2018, at the Ely State Prison. Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez delayed the execution.
Las Vegas Metropolitan Briefing 18th street gang
Las Vegas Metropolitan briefs the media on the recent arrests made regarding the 18th street gang.
Las Vegas Metropolitan Briefing - 18th street gang
Las Vegas Metropolitan briefs the media on the recent arrests made regarding the 18th street gang.
The Mob Museum
Man shot in Las Vegas traffic stop had knife, police say
Police said the man fatally shot by an officer during a traffic stop in downtown Las Vegas had a “homemade knife.” Demontry Floytra Boyd, 43, died Saturday at University Medical Center from multiple gunshot wounds after officer Paul Bruning, 48, shot him during a traffic stop. Bruning pulled Boyd over on suspicion of driving recklessly at 7:41 a.m. near Sunrise Avenue and 18th Street.
Man shot, killed by Las Vegas police after traffic stop
Las Vegas police give a briefing after a man was shot and killed by an officer following a traffic stop. (Rio Lacanlale/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Video of suspect in Home Depot parking lot shooting
A man who was injured in a Nov. 20 shooting in the southwest Las Vegas Valley died at a hospital Tuesday, the Clark County coroner’s office said.
Nevada Task Force 1 Dog Units Return
Four dogs and their handlers returned to the Las Vegas Valley on Thursday, November 29, 2018, after deploying to the Paradise, California wildfire last week. The dogs, trained in human remains detection, are part of Nevada Task Force 1, a Federal Emergency Management Agency urban search and rescue team. (Katelyn Newberg/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Police thwart brazen kidnapping attempt
Metro officers suspicious of woman claiming to be with Child Protective Services prevent possible kidnapping of three-week-old infant.
Shot Spotter technology used by Metro extended for another year
Gunfire location technology being used by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department gets extended for another year of evaluation.
Nye County pursuit ends in rollover crash caught by dashcam
A truck flipped twice before landing on its wheels as a driver tried to flee Nye County Sheriff's deputies on Friday, Nov. 23, 2018.
Nevada Highway Patrol stops wrong-way driver on Thanksgiving
The Nevada Highway Patrol has released dashboard and body camera video showing troopers deploying spike strips to stop a suspected impaired wrong-way driver early Thanksgiving Day. (Nevada Highway Patrol)
DUI sentencing
The parents of 8-year-old Levi Echenique speak after a woman who drove under the influence of marijuana and killed the boy was sent to prison.
3 Pahrump residents arrested on false imprisonment charges
James Thatcher, 28 of Pahrump, Chelsea Demille, 30 of Pahrump, and Sandra Wombles, 19 of Pahrump were all arrested after it was discovered that they were holding an adult female and male prisoners in their bedroom. (Nye County Sheriff's Office)
2 kids struck by gunfire in North Las Vegas shooting
On Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018, people opened fire into a residence in the 3600 block of Hamlin Place in North Las Vegas. Two kids were hit by gunfire and sent to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries, according to North Las Vegas police. Anyone with information is asked to call the NLVPD at 702-633-9111.
Stephan Bonnar DUI Arrest
Stephan Bonnar arrested for DUI in Nevada.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like