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4 Canadians among those killed in Las Vegas shooting

Last Updated Oct 3, 2017 at 6:17 pm EDT

Global Affairs Canada confirms it knows of at least four Canadians who were killed and another four who were injured during the mass shooting on the Las Vegas strip on Sunday.

They were killed when a gunman opened fire on thousands of concertgoers from his nearby hotel window. Nearly 60 people were killed and hundreds were injured.

“A team of consular officials has been deployed to Las Vegas to assist Canadians,” spokesman Philip Hannan said in a statement. “Consular officials are on the ground and working closely with U.S. authorities to identify and help any more Canadians hurt in this attack.”

A model with two young sons and a restaurant staffer about to be promoted to manager are among the Canadians confirmed dead in a mass shooting at a country music show in Las Vegas.

Tara Roe Smith, who was 34 and lived in Okotoks, Alta., was there with her husband, Zach, and another couple for a weekend getaway, said her aunt, Val Rodgers.

She was there with her husband, Zach, and another couple for a weekend getaway, said her aunt, Val Rodgers.

“They were there just to have a good time and to enjoy a concert,” Rodgers said from her home in Brandon, Man., Tuesday.

“She was a beautiful soul. She was a wonderful mother and our family is going to miss her dearly.”

Roe Smith worked with Calgary modelling agency Sophia Models International for 10 years, said owner Bill Giofu.

“She was always a friendly face when she came in to see us at the agency, a very caring spirit,” he said. “We are deeply saddened and shocked and pray for everyone affected by this tragedy in Vegas.”

Roe Smith also worked as an educational assistant at the Foothills School Division.

“It has been a challenging time for our division yet we continue to stand together and support one another,” John Bailey, superintendent of schools, said in a statement. “We have put our crisis response team in place and they will remain as long as is needed to assist students and staff.”

Lyndsay Perham’s childhood friend, Calla Medig, was also at the Route 91 Music Festival when she was shot. Going to Las Vegas for the festival had become an annual tradition for the country music fan, Perham said.

“She was a very loyal friend. We always had fun together,” said Perham, who grew up with Medig in the Rocky Mountain town of Jasper, Alta. “We had a very tight-knit group of girls and we just did everything together growing up.”

Medig, 28, was with her best friend when she was shot, Perham said. The friend managed to get Medig to a hospital, where she died.

“We’re going to miss her and we’ll just have to try and get through it together, but I don’t know if we’ll be able to.”

Medig had taken time off from her job at a Moxie’s restaurant in west Edmonton to attend the festival said her boss, Scott Collingwood.

When news broke about the shooting Sunday, Collingwood said he immediately called Medig, but it went right to voicemail. She didn’t answer texts or Facebook messages, he said.

On Monday, he called her roommate, who went to Vegas with Medig, and got the terrible news.

“She was a little bit of everything around here. She was kind of a rock and, as of Thursday, she would have been our newest manager,” Collingwood said. “A lot of us around here have super heavy hearts and we already miss her.”

Another Alberta woman, Jessica Klymchuk, was identified as one of the shooting victims on Monday.

Klymchuk was a mother of four who lived the northwestern Alberta town of Valleyview, where she worked as an educational assistant, librarian and bus driver at an area Catholic school.

St. Stephen’s School was planning a candlelight vigil for her on Tuesday evening. A family friend has set up a crowdfunding page to support Klymchuk’s children.

“Jessica was an amazing mother who worked to provide her children with as best a life as she could,” Noella Marie wrote on the GoFundMe page, adding Klymchuk was engaged to the “love of her life,” Brent Irla.

Another Canadian victim of the attack, Jordan McIldoon of Maple Ridge, B.C., would have turned 24 on Friday and was a month shy of completing a course to qualify as a heavy-duty mechanic.

Bartender Heather Gooze was serving McIldoon when the gunfire began. He was shot in the stomach and Gooze said she helped carry him out.

She said she held his hand for his final moments.

“The fingers kind of squeezed and then just stopped. You don’t have to be a doctor to know,” she said. “And I kept thinking about if this was me, would people stay with me? Would they make sure that I was OK?

“I couldn’t go.”

The death toll in the Las Vegas massacre now stands at 59 people, with over 500 others injured, making it the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

The gunman was identified as Stephen Craig Paddock, 64, of Mesquite, Nev. He had checked into the hotel room on Thursday, authorities said. Police said he was a retiree with no criminal record in the Nevada county where he lived.

SWAT teams using explosives stormed the gunman’s hotel room in the sleek, gold-colored glass skyscraper and found he had killed himself, authorities said.

Assistant Clark County Sheriff Todd Fasulo says officers found 23 firearms in the Mandalay Bay hotel room of the shooter and 19 firearms at his home.

Tens of thousands of concertgoers screamed and ran for their lives as shots rang out on the outdoor festival.

Other Canadians recalled the terrifying scene.

Jesse Harrison, of Toronto, and his wife were standing near the stage when the barrage of shots rang out.

“It sounded like fireworks, just lots of popping… and then the music stopped and then more popping and then everybody hit the ground,” he explained during a Skype interview with CityNews.

“We didn’t know where it was coming from so we jumped under our seats. It felt like it was right on top of us.”

Harrison said they eventually decided to make a run for it.

“It would stop for a few seconds and then people would start running and stampeding and started up again and everyone hit the ground again. It felt like it kept going for minutes.”

He said in all the confusion they lost each other in the crowd but met up at a hotel where they were put in lockdown.

With files from Mary Jo Laforest in Edmonton, The Associated Press, ABC News and News Staff


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