The evening had begun in celebration. Thousands gathered for another night of song at the long-anticipated country music festival. Some had driven or flown to Las Vegas for the three days of shows from faraway places — Tennessee, California, Alaska. And in the days and weeks before the festival, some had excitedly posted messages on social media, counting down until its start.
But when the gunfire — sudden and rapid — finally ceased on Sunday night, at least 59 people had been killed and hundreds more were injured. The attack at a music festival in Las Vegas was one of the deadliest mass shootings in American history.
The authorities have not yet identified all of the people who perished, but relatives, colleagues and friends have shared memories of some of them. Here are the stories of the people who died. This article will be updated.
In the last photo that Jack Beaton posted on his Facebook page on Sunday evening, his companions can be seen lounging on the grass, holding beers and smiling at the camera, lights from the country music festival twinkling in the background.
“Day Three Route 91 Vegas!” he wrote in the caption.
Hours later, Mr. Beaton, of Bakersfield, Calif., was killed while shielding his wife, Laurie, from gunfire, his family said.
His father-in-law, Jerry Cook, told BakersfieldNow.com that Mr. Beaton had covered his wife’s body with his own, and was shot. “He told her he loved her,” he said. “Laurie could tell he was slipping. She told him she loved him and she would see him in heaven.”
Mr. Beaton was gregarious and always helping other people; a family man who adored driving his truck with his hat on sideways, Mr. Cook said.