First victims of Las Vegas massacre identified

It's a photo you see all the time on social media: two friends, arm in arm, enjoying themselves at a concert.

Brian MacKinnon and Adrian Murfitt, both from Anchorage in Alaska, were at the Route 91 Harvest music festival in Las Vegas when they took the opportunity to capture the moment with a selfie.

Then the gunshots. When Mr Murfitt turned around to see what was happening, he took a bullet in the neck. He died in his friend's arms.

Gunman Stephen Paddock had begun raining down thousands of rounds of ammunition on the crowd of music lovers from the 32nd floor of the nearby Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.

The death toll stands at 59 people. A further 527 people were injured.

Brian MacKinnon with friend Adrian Murfett

Brian MacKinnon with friend Adrian Murfett. Photo: Facebook/Brian MacKinnon

One of the victims was 56-year-old John Phippen???, who was dancing at the festival next to his son, Travis, when he was shot in the back.

Travis, an emergency medical technician, was shot in the arm during the attack, however he managed to carry his father to a car that took them to hospital where he died.

"He was my best friend," Travis told the LA Times. "He never did anything wrong to anybody. He was always kind and gentle. He was the biggest teddy bear I knew."

Las Vegas woman Neysa Tonks was another one of the victims.

Victim Neysa Tonks. Photo: GoFundMe

Las Vegas woman Neysa Tonks was another of the slain. She was a mother of three boys, according to a GoFundMe campaign created by her employer Technologent.

"How happy and lucky I feel that she was part of my life," her brother AJ Yerage told KUTV. "I can hear her laugh, her voice in my head and my heart right now."

Charleston Hartfield, 34, an off-duty Las Vegas police officer, was among those killed.

"He was probably busy helping others," Hartfield's friend Troy Rhett told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

"I don't know a better man than Charles."

Disney worker Carrie Barnette was shot in the left side of the chest.

Carrie Barnette was shot at the country music concert. Photo: Disney

Disneyland employee Carrie Barnette???, 34, was up front close to stage when she was shot to the left side of her chest, her cousin told The Arizona Republic.

Walt Disney Company chairman and CEO Robert Iger??? wrote on Twitter that it was a "senseless, horrific, act, and a terrible loss for so many".

"We mourn a wonderful member of the Disney family: Carrie Barnette. Tragic," he wrote.

Canadian Jessica Klymchuk???, 28, was a librarian and the single mother of four children, the Globe and Mail reported.

"She's a very good mother. She's raised four beautiful children," Ms Klymchuk's grandmother Margaret told the paper.

Sonny Melton, pictured with wife Heather Melton. Heather Melton has identified him as one of the victims of the Las Vegas country music massacre.

Sonny Melton, pictured with wife Heather Melton. Photo: Facebook/Heather Melton

Festival-goer Sonny Melton, a 29-year-old nurse from West Tennessee, was killed as he tried to shield his wife, Heather Melton, from the gunfire.

"He saved my life. He grabbed me and started running when I felt him get shot in the back," she told local TV station WSMV.

"I want everyone to know what a kind-hearted, loving man he was, but at this point, I can barely breathe."

Mr Melton was a registered nurse who worked at the emergency room and ICU at Henry County Medical Centre in Tennessee. He also assisted his wife in surgery.

Sonny Melton, pictured with wife Heather Melton. Heather Melton has identified him as one of the victims of the Las Vegas country music massacre.

Denise Salmon Burditus, with husband Tony Photo: Facebook/Denise Salmon

Denise Salmon Burditus, a semi-retired country music fan, was also believed to be among the dead.

She had uploaded a photo to Facebook about two hours before the shooting showing she and her husband, Tony, in front of the Route 91 concert stage.

One of her Facebook friends shared the photo saying, "my friend's wife of 32 years died in his arms last night in the Vegas shooting".

Quinton Robbins has been identified by his family as a victim of the Las Vegas Route 91 Harvest festival shooting. He was 20 years old from Nevada.

Quinton Robbins. Photo: Facebook/Quinton Robbins

Quinton Robbins, 20, was identified as one of the victims by friends and family.

The Nevada native, who lists his job online as a recreational assistant at the City of Henderson government, was described by his aunt as "an amazing young man who had a huge heart and would do anything for anyone".

"He overcame health issues and did not let them interfere with living his life to the fullest," she posted.

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It is with a heavy heart that I post this. My beautiful nephew, Quinton Robbins age 20, was killed at the concert in...Posted by Doreen Hawk-Wells on Monday, 2 October 2017

Mike McGarry, a financial adviser from Philadelphia, was at the concert when he heard hundreds of shots ring out. He said he used his body to shield children.

"It was crazy - I laid on top of the kids. They're 20. I'm 53. I lived a good life," McGarry said.

White House spokesman Sarah Sanders became emotional on Tuesday as she paid tribute to Sonny Melton and acknowledged the heroics of Mr McGarry.

Mr Melton was "selfless ... giving up his life to save hers", she said.

This story First victims of Las Vegas massacre identified first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.