Los Angeles

SoCal Law Enforcement, Firefighters Among Las Vegas Shooting Victims

Several off-duty law enforcement officers from Los Angeles were at the concert when a gunman opened fire from a hotel room window

A civilian employee of the Manhattan Beach Police Department was killed and more than a half-dozen Southern California law enforcement and fire department personnel were among those injured in the massacre at the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival on the Las Vegas Strip, the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

The Manhattan Beach Police Department says one of its employees, records technician Rachael Parker, was killed. Details were not immediately available.

A gunman perched on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino unleashed hails of bullets on fans watching the festival as headliner Jason Aldean performed. Law enforcement officials in Las Vegas said Monday morning at 58 people were killed and 515 wounded by the lone gunman, who was identified as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock of Mesquite, Nevada.

Below, a look at some of the Southern California law enforcement and firefighting departments with personnel injured in the shooting.

Ontario Police Department

Ontario Police Officer Michael Gracia, 24, was in critical condition after getting shot in the head at the concert. The four-year veteran and his girlfriend were both injured. His girlfriend is expected to be OK.  The two have an infant daughter.

Gracia started with the police department as a cadet in the jail before fulfilling his dream of becoming a patrol officer.

"We are thinking about him, his family and all the other people involved," said Sgt. Jeff Higbee, a department spokesman. "It's a horrific scene."

LA County Sheriff's Department

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department employees, two Los Angeles Fire Department firefighters, an Orange County sheriff's deputy, a Los Angeles police officer and two Newport Beach employees, including an off-duty police officer, and were wounded in Sunday night's shooting.

Los Angeles Police Department

The Los Angeles Police Department officer assigned to the Foothill Division was shot in the leg in the mass-shooting, said Officer Rosario Herrera of the LAPD's Media Relations Section, adding that the officer was the only LAPD officer wounded in the massacre.

"While this appears to be an isolated incident with no apparent threat to Los Angeles, we ask the public to stay vigilant and aware of your surroundings," according to the LAPD.

Los Angeles Fire Department

At least seven off-duty LAFD employees were at the concert, and two of them were wounded, said LAFD Chief Ralph Terrazas.

"Thankfully, their wounds do not appear to be life-threatening," Terrazas said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with them and their families and all of the people affected by this horrific and senseless tragedy."

Los Angeles County Fire Department

Two of several county firefighters at the concert were struck by gunfire. None of the injuries are considered life-threatening.

Orange County Sheriff's Department

One off-duty Orange County Sheriff's Department deputy was wounded, as were two family members of other OCSD personnel, but none of the injuries was life-threatening, the OCSD reported.

Orange County Fire Authority

At least six off-duty Orange County Fire Authority firefighters were at the concert with family members or friends, said OCFA Capt. Steve Concialdi. "We are pleased to report that all are OK," Concialdi said. The two Newport Beach employees were hurt but are expected to survive, said Jennifer Manzella of the Newport Beach Police Department.

Riverside County Sheriff's Department

In Riverside County, a deputy sheriff was in critical condition and a correctional deputy was injured and released.

San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department

Sgt. Brad Powers of the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department was wounded in the shooting. Powers is a 19-year veteran assigned to the Fontana station. He is in critical but stable condiition and is being treated at a Las Vegas area hospital, San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon said. "Please keep him and his family in your thoughts and prayers," McMahon added. 

About the Shooting

An FBI official in Las Vegas said Paddock did not appear to have any connection to terrorism, despite a reported claim of responsibility by the terrorist group ISIS. Paddock's ex-wife lives in Cerritos, and she apparently called the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department after news of the shooting broke.

The woman, who isn't speaking publicly, told deputies she was married to Paddock for six years, but they've been divorced for more than two decades, sheriff's officials told reporters at the scene. One Los Angeles County sheriff's employee was shot during the melee and was listed in critical condition Monday, while a second was displaying stable vital signs, as was an LAPD officer who was at the event, according to Southland authorities.

With initial reports of multiple shooters in numerous locations in Las Vegas, Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell activated the Department Operations Center shortly after the shooting was reported and readied a response team that included SWAT teams and a bomb squad, the Sheriff's Information Bureau reported.

Additionally, a Super Puma helicopter was prepared for deployment, but the crew stood down after the Las Vegas Metro SWAT team determined that a single shooter was involved. Authorities said Paddock killed himself. As is usually the case, Las Vegas was teeming with Southland residents Sunday night. A Long Beach resident who attended the festival described how he helped carry an unconscious woman to out of the line of fire.

Al Quackenbush said that singer Jason Aldean was performing at the open-air festival when the gunfire rang out, causing a massive scramble for survival.

"(We) carried a girl who was shot," said Quackenbush, describing the victim as a woman in her 20s. "We carried her behind a concrete pillar with her friends, then we got out of there. We are safe.

"We heard many shots," Quackenbush said. "Like 300-plus shots. I figure it was an automatic rifle. We were right there."

Orange County resident David Wolfe told a reporter his wife and daughter were at the concert. Wolfe said he was "in absolute panic; scared to death until my wife called and said they were OK."

Brianna Taylor of Orange County told NBC4 that she and her fiance were near the front of the stage close to Aldean when the bullets began to rain. The shaken Taylor said she first thought it was fireworks, but "seconds later, we found it was a lot more serious that," as she saw two people within 10 feet of her get shot.

"We just stayed as low as we could for awhile," Taylor said. "(But) as soon as they said they needed medics, we knew we were sitting ducks. "I said 'Babe, this can't be how we die, this can't be how we go.' So we just got up and ran behind the stage and got out," eventually hiding with about 200 other people in a helicopter rental company.

"Instinctively, when you get a chance to run for your life, you run for your life," Taylor said.

Tony Shin contributed to this report.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
Contact Us