A Maple Ridge man is now confirmed to be one of the victims in the Las Vegas shooting Sunday night.
Jordan McIldoon, 23, was attending the outdoor music festival on the Las Vegas Strip when the shots rang out.
He is the first Canadian publicly identified as someone killed in what is now known to be the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.
McIldoon worked for Jacob Bros Construction in Surrey.
“We’re just all in shock,” says McIldoon’s boss Paul Simpson.
“He’s a mechanic for us. We’re just in shock here.”
On Monday, McIldoon’s girlfriend Amber posted to Instagram calling him the love of her life.
“I can never express how much you meant to me. We were going to get married and have little babies together,” she wrote.
“You will forever be in my heart, until the end of time. Forever and always my love.”
McIldoon was in Las Vegas with his girlfriend. He was just days away from his 24th birthday and travelled to Vegas every year to celebrate. The couple were due to fly home on Monday.
Heather Gooze, who was working as a bartender at the festival, told a CBS News affiliate that she encountered McIldoon in Las Vegas as she helped the wounded.
At one point, there men carried another man to her on a maintenance ladder.
“I was holding this guy’s hand, and I could kind of feel him squeeze my fingers,” Gooze said.
“And then, all of a sudden he wasn’t squeezing my fingers anymore.”
Gooze answered a phone call on the man’s cell about an hour later – a friend was calling him.
Through this, Gooze determined that the man was McIldoon, and later managed to contact Amber. She told his girlfriend that he didn’t make it.
It appears McIldoon may have saved his girlfriend’s life.
“I knew Jordan well and when you tell me he saved [her] life I believe it 100%,” said friend Mitchel Brown in a statement. “He would have saved everyone if he could have. He was one of the best guys I know and is going to be greatly missed by a lot of people.”
A GoFundMe campaign has now been established for McIldoon’s grieving family.
At least 58 people are dead and more than 500 injured, after a lone gunman opened fire from a 32nd-floor hotel room at Mandalay Bay, raining bullets down on the festival.
B.C. Premier John Horgan said in a statement:
“Jordan McIldoon of Maple Ridge was among those who lost their lives. He was 23 years old. The flags at the Parliament Buildings in Victoria and Provincial Government Buildings in Maple Ridge will be dropped to half-mast to honour him.
“To Jordan’s family, and the family and friends of all those who have lost their lives, we offer our condolences and support.
“I want to express my heartfelt thanks to the first responders, who put themselves in harm’s way by running toward gunfire in an effort to save lives.
“When dark acts seek to shake our faith in humanity, we look to those who have come forward to help. Their selfless acts of heroism are what build the strong and caring communities we all want to be a part of.”
Maple Ridge Mayor Nicole Read has also spoken out in the wake of the tragedy, calling love “the only thing strong enough to counter hate.”
“This is a major event in the world and these events are happening more frequently so it’s devastating to think of the loss of life and he number of people injured, but then to learn that’s it’s one of your own citizens is particularly shocking.”
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