By Nancy Dillon, Elizabeth Elizalde and Leonard Greene, The New York Daily News
Las Vegas Police Officer Charleston Hartfield, 34, was off-duty Sunday night and enjoying the country music concert when gunfire rang out.
Hartfield had posted an image of the Route 91 Harvest Festival on his Facebook page Sunday evening, hours before gunman Stephen Paddock, 64, opened fire from his 32nd-floor perch at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino.
(WARNING: Contains graphic images. Las Vegas shooting as witnessed through social media posts at the ground level. Dozens were killed and hundreds injured in the mass shooting at a country music concert in Las Vegas. Courtesy of CBC News and YouTube)
Friends said Hartfield, a father and military veteran, also coached youth football.
Friend Troy Rhett said he sent Hartfield a text message late Sunday night, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
“I figured he was probably busy helping others,” Rhett said.
“I don’t know a better man than Charles. They say it’s always the good ones we lose early. There’s no truer statement than that with Charles,” he added.
“He gave up his life for this country,” a relative told the Daily News. “Just to be taken out like this. You don’t understand. He’s got two little babies.”
(Charleston Hartfield, an off-duty Las Vegas police officer and recently published author of a memoir about life on the force, was killed Sunday night in the mass shooting on the Strip. Hartfield, a 34-year-old military veteran known as Charles, Chucky or “ChuckyHart,” also coached youth football Hartfield was a sergeant 1st class in the Nevada Army National Guard, assigned to the 100th Quartermaster Company, based in Las Vegas. Brig. Gen. William Burks, adjutant general of the Nevada National Guard, called him “the epitome of a citizen-soldier.” Courtesy of Las Vegas Review-Journal and YouTube)
Also killed was a commercial fisherman from Anchorage, Alaska, who was at the concert with a buddy.
Adrian Murfitt, 35, was shot in the neck while he was near the stage at the Mandalay during a concert by country singer Jason Aldean, said Avonna Murfitt, Adrian’s mother.
“Apparently, a fireman and a doctor both came over and did CPR on him, but he didn’t make it,” Avonna Murfitt told CNN.
Lisa Romero, a secretary at Miyamura High School in Gallup, N.M., was also killed, as was Rachael Parker, a records technician with the Manhattan Beach Police Department in California.
“She was close to a lot of people,” Capt. Tim Hageman told the Daily News.
“She would laugh, and you knew it was Rachael laughing, even if you couldn’t see her.”
Hageman said Parker, 33, who had worked in the department for 10 years, was with two other civilian employees and a Manhattan Beach police officer who was shot in the arm.
(The names and stories of some of the victims of Sunday’s Las Vegas shooting are coming to light following the massacre. Courtesy of MSNBC and YouTube)
Also killed was special education teacher Sandy Casey, according to the Manhattan Beach Unified School District in Southern California.
“She’s absolutely loved by students and colleagues alike and will be remembered for her sense of humor, her passion for her work, her devotion to her students, her commitment to continue her own learning and taking on whatever new projects came her way,” district superintendent Mike Matthews said in a statement obtained by Los Angeles station KABC.
An online fund-raising campaign for Las Vegas shooting victims has raised more than $1 million.
In just four hours, the GoFundMe page set up by the Clark County Board of County Commissioners in Nevada, which includes Las Vegas, was more than halfway to its goal of $2 million, said commission chairman Steve Sisolak.
“I’m overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from the Las Vegas community & beyond,” Sisolak said in a Twitter post. “We need more donations, every penny will be put to use.”
Remembering the victims of the Las Vegas mass shooting
Sisolak, who said he started the fund with Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo, pledged the first $10,000.
Prayer vigils began across the city, including one led by Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman at City Hall.
Earlier, Goodman called the shooter a “crazed lunatic full of hate.”
Among the victims of Paddock’s hate was Denise Burditus of Martinsburg, W.Va., who was attending the concert with her husband, Tony, her high school sweetheart.
“It saddens me to say that I lost my wife of 32 years, a mother of two, soon to be grandmother of five this evening in the Las Vegas shooting,” Tony Burditus wrote on his Facebook page.
“Denise passed in my arms. I LOVE YOU BABE.”
The victim had shared several photos of her and her husband enjoying the three-day music festival, including one taken just hours before the shooting.
Tony Burditus shared a picture of his own, of him and his wife kissing.
“What an awesome picture Tony,” a friend wrote in response to the post.
“My heart aches for you and your family.”
With Christopher Brennan, Cassidy Grom
How We Can Help Las Vegas
The site has already raised more than $3.5 million.
Assistance for Victims of the Harvest Music Festival Shooting in Las Vegas
By the FBI
The FBI is assisting the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department in responding to and investigating the shooting at the Harvest Music Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 1, 2017.
Crimes can have a devastating effect on victims and their families who may need assistance coping with the impact.
Providing information and assistance to victims of a shooting is a vitally important part of our response.
The FBI’s Victim Services Division (formerly the Office for Victim Assistance) provides emergency assistance to victims of mass violence crimes due to its extensive experience in responding to victims of these crimes.
If you were injured in or witnessed the shooting at the Harvest Music Festival in Las Vegas, you may be eligible for certain services and rights, such as special funding to provide emergency assistance, crime victims compensation, and counseling.
Additional information about these resources can be found at the website links listed below.
NOTE: To provide investigative information related to the shootings, please submit a tip at tips.fbi.gov.
If you have photos or videos related to the shooting, please call 1-800-CALL-FBI.
- Brochure: Help for Victims of Crime
- Brochure: FBI Victim Assistance Program
- Coping with Crime Victimization
- U.S. Resource Map of Crime Victim Services & Information
Editor’s note: Our condolences to the LVMPD and all the families devastated by this tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with Officer Hartfield’s family and all of the victim’s families. Officer Hartfield, your life mattered. May you rest in peace Sir.