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Gay Utahn killed and boyfriend hurt during Las Vegas massacre

Bobby Eardley and Cameron Robinson
Michael Aaron
Written by Michael Aaron

On Sunday, boyfriends Cameron Robinson and Bobby Eardley drove from their St. George home to a music festival in Las Vegas. It was a drive Robinson knew very well, as he commuted to his job as management analyst for the City of Las Vegas every working day since they became a couple in 2014.

Sunday night, Eardley would watch his boyfriend die before his eyes from a gunshot wound to the neck, shot by a man 400 yards away on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel. Eardley would also be rushed to the hospital as he was bleeding from shrapnel in his lower back. In all, at least 59 people were killed and over 500 injured by the shooter.

Eardley is now back home now with his three children from an earlier marriage. He didn’t feel up to talking with QSaltLake about his ordeal. He just wants to come to terms with his new life without the love of his life.

Eardley’s mother, Joyce, told the New York Daily News that Robinson “loved life” and was like a second father to her three young grandchildren.

“He loved people and to serve people — he was a character, he had us all laughing. We could be in the dumps and then he’d have us all in laughter,” she told the News. “A great loss of a great man.”

Robinson’s sister, Meghan Ervin, wrote on Facebook that she was able to go to Vegas and take care of her brother’s remains through the Eardley family.

“Today to go say goodbye to you! I was never supposed to say goodbye to you, little brother … you were supposed to take over the world,” she wrote.

Robinson was raised in Henderson, Nevada, graduating from Basic High School. He received an MBA in 2015 after graduating from Nevada State College in business administration and management.

For the past four years, he has worked for the City of Las Vegas most recently as a management analyst. He also worked as a floral designer for the past nine years.

Robinson and Eardley were both runners, participating in several marathons in Southern Utah and surrounding states.

Elizabeth Eldredge remembered Robinson on Facebook.

Cameron Robinson following Elizabeth Eldredge in the final stretch of the Grand Teton Half Marathon

“You’ll never know just how much you cheered me up by meeting me at the bottom of that last long hill in the Grand Teton [Half Marathon] and bringing us all home to the finish … together. You rocked that run! You’ll stay in my heart forever,” she wrote. “And to Bobby — I’m sending you love and light in this tragic and life-changing time. I hope you recover, as I know the emotional scars will last long beyond the physical. Hugs and hope as we all struggle to make sense of this devastating, and untimely, loss.”


Bobby Eardley has worked at Ken Garff St. George since 1999 and is now a parts manager. He enjoys fishing and hunting, according to his Facebook profile.

The family has set up a GoFundMe to help pay for Robinson’s funeral expenses and Eardley’s hospital expenses.

 

Here’s what we know about victims from across the nation:

Nicol Kimura, 38, of Placentia, Calif., was part of a group of friends who had grown up together in Orange County and were still so tight-knit that their children considered the parents’ friends to be aunts and uncles.
Andrea Castilla, 28, of Huntington Beach, Calif., was so happy to be in Las Vegas celebrating her 28th birthday. She was holding hands with her sister while watching the band when they heard yells to “duck!” and the sound of gunshots, her aunt, Marina Parker, wrote on a GoFundMe memorial page to raise money for the funeral expenses. Castilla’s boyfriend was planning to propose. Her younger sister had gotten engaged in May. Castilla, a makeup artist at Sephora in Huntington Beach, loved making people feel beautiful, her sister, Athena Castilla told the Las Vegas Review Journal. Andrea’ Castilla’s Instagram caption read: “living life to the fullest. She had such a great outlook on life,” Athena Castilla said.

Jordyn Rivera was in her fourth year as a student at California State University, San Bernardino, where she made an impression on everyone from students to the president. Rivera, 21, was in Las Vegas for Route 91 Harvest country music festival when she was shot to death.

Denise Cohen: As Jeff Rees thinks about his mom one thing keeps repeating in his head: Her laugh.

“When she would take me to the movies as a kid, I was just waiting to hear her laugh because it would just crack me up,” Rees said.

Cohen, 58, and her boyfriend Derrick “Bo” Taylor, 56, both died at the Las Vegas concert. Rees met Taylor last year, when he traveled to California to visit his mother. The two had dated on and off for several years.

Cohen was a woman who lived life to the fullest and made everyone around her feel their best, Rees said.

“I feel sorry for all of the people in the world who never got a chance to meet her,” he said.

Derrick “Bo” Taylor, 56, and his girlfriend Denise Cohen, 58, both died at the Las Vegas concert. Taylor was a lieutenant in the California Department of Correction and Rehabilitation. He worked as a commander at the Ventura Conservation Camp, which houses inmates that help California fight wildfires.

Jennifer T. Irvine, 42, a lawyer in San Diego, owned a boutique firm where she practiced criminal and family law, according to her publicist Jay Jones.

Her law firm’s website describes her as a “tenacious litigator.” Outside of court, she led an active life: achieving a black-belt in taekwondo practicing hot yoga, and being an avid snowboarder.

A longtime friend who spoke to the San Diego Union-Tribune described her as “smart, friendly and bubbly.”

Carrie Barnette, 34, a decadelong Disney employee, was “beloved by her friends and colleagues,” according to the company’s chairman and CEO, Robert Iger.Her mother, Mavis Barnette, said Carrie was celebrating a friend’s 30th birthday when she was shot in the chest, according to the Los Angeles Times. She died before she could get to the hospital, her mother said.“Beautiful child; she was my firstborn,” Mavis Barnette said. “She was always generous and helping everybody in every way. She loved her nieces and nephews and her sister and brother.”Carrie, of Riverside, California, worked in food services — a job she loved, her mother said.

Friend Nicole Johnson said she would miss Carrie “greatly.”

“She was the kind of friend that everybody would want in their life,” Johnson said. “She was vivacious, caring, funny, sweet, energetic, creative, loyal, thoughtful, giving and full of life.”

Jennifer Parks, 35, of Lancaster, California, was married mother of two who was a kindergarten teacher and volleyball coach.

“She was truly one of the most loving people you could ever hope to meet,” said Steven McCarthy, her husband’s uncle, who spoke to CNN. “She always went out of her way to help anybody.”

Her employer, the Westside Union School District, said in a statement, according to The New York Times, that she’ll be remembered for her “sense of humor, her passion for her work, her devotion to her students, and her commitment to continuing her own learning and to taking on whatever new projects came her way.”

Her aunt Rhonda Boyle said: “She had a heart of gold.”

Christopher Roybal, 28, was a combat veteran of the war in Afghanistan and most recently worked at Crunch Fitness in Corona and Riverside, California.

He had recently moved to open franchises in Colorado Springs.

“He is a guy that could always put a smile on your face after all the stuff he had been through,” said David Harman, who founded the gym’s parent company.

“As far as responsibility and discipline and work ethic, there wasn’t any question about him coming on board with us,” said Harman, who has known Roybal for about 4 years. “He was a good, hard worker, a grinder.”

Hannah Ahlers, 35, a married mother of three from Murrieta, California, was an avid outdoorswoman who enjoyed skydiving.

“She was possibly one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen, with a heart to match,” Sunni Almond told the Los Angeles Times. “She never came across with the diva mentality she easily could have had. She was a devoted mother and wife.”

She studied at Crafton Hills College and went to Redlands East Valley High School, the paper said.

Dana Gardner, 52, of Grand Terrace, California, was a deputy recorder for San Bernardino County, according to the San Bernardino Sun.

County official Bob Dutton told the paper Gardner was a “dedicated public servant” described as a “go-to” person. She started working for the county on Aug. 26, 1991, as a document clerk and in 2015 as deputy recorder.

“She had a lot of knowledge,” Dutton said. “She was a great employee.”

Stacee Etcheber, 50, of Novata, California, was a hairdresser who was married to a San Francisco police officer.

“Stacee was a wonderful, caring wife, mother, and daughter. She will be terribly missed,” San Francisco Police Officers Association President Martin Halloran said in a statement, according to CNN.

Al Etcheber, her brother-in-law, described her like this: “Just a loving wife, a great mother. She’s tough as nails and just the salt of the earth.”

Dorene Anderson, a married stay-at-home mother in Anchorage, Alaska, had a passion for ice hockey, recently serving as treasurer of the nonprofit “Cowbell Crew,” which supports youth leagues, according to the Alaska Dispatch News. Marie English, a member of the group, described Anderson as “just an all-around wonderful Alaskan,” adding: “She was friendly to everybody. She had a heart of gold.”

D.J. Fauske, a longtime friend wrote on Facebook, according to the paper:

“Dorene Anderson was a saint of person. I’ve watched her daughters grow up to become amazing women and I know they will continue their mom’s lasting legacy.”

Calla Medig, of Jasper, Alberta, Canada, was a waitress at Moxie’s restaurant in west Edmonton. Co-workers told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. that Medig a kindhearted young woman with a beaming smile.“Calla was among the kindest and warmhearted, beautiful souls I have ever had the pleasure to know,” Bailey Huebner, Medig’s former co-worker wrote on Facebook. “Her smile made such a positive impact on my life.”
Melissa Ramirez, 26, lived in Littlerock, California, and worked at a car insurance company, according to The New York Times. A 2014 graduate of California State University at Bakersfield, she loved country music.

Heather Alvarado, 35, was a married mother of three from Cedar City, Utah. “It is with heavy hearts that we acknowledge the passing of Heather Warino Alvarado, wife of Cedar City firefighter Albert Alvarado,” Sgt. Jerry Womack, a spokesman for the police department in Cedar City, Utah, said in a statement to the Salt Lake Tribune.

Kelsey Meadows, 27, was a substitute teacher from Taft, California. According to the Bakersfield Californian, family friend Kim Perry wrote on social media, “My heart is broken and I am at a loss for words. Kelsey Meadows May you Rest In Peace pretty girl. You will be deeply missed. Love and prayers for you and the entire Meadows family.”

Steven Berger, a financial adviser who lived in Shorewood, Minnesota, and was a native of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, had been attending Sunday night’s concert with his roommate and other friends.

A fan of country music, Berger had been celebrating his 44th birthday with the Las Vegas trip.

His mother Mary says Steven’s roommate saw him get shot and fall, but was prevented from getting to him as people were herded out of the venue.

Steven’s father, Richard Berger, said the family was notified by the coroner’s office in Las Vegas Tuesday afternoon that he had died.

“He’s our only son,” Berger said, choking up. “It’s terrible. At least now we know. Now we got busy things to do with three grandchildren.”

A father of three children, ages 15, 11 and 8, Steven loved his family, his mother said.

Laura Shipp; When a gunman fired bullets into the crowd at the country music festival, Corey Shipp, 23, wasn’t with his mother, Laura , 50 who had gone to the restroom. He frantically searched for his mother after the shooting, later posting on Facebook to thank all the friends who helped make calls to hospitals and sat at the convention center with him.

Austin Davis, 29, of Riverside, California, was a proud union man who was a pipefitter for UA Local 364, which covers San Bernardino and Riverside counties, along with Edwards Air Force Base.

Bill Wolfe Jr. and his wife, Robyn, were celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary in Las Vegas when the mass shooting occurred.

Wolfe coached an elementary school wrestling team and a Little League team in Shippensburg, his hometown.

As an engineer, Wolfe spent several years working on major projects for a central Pennsylvania engineering firm. There, a colleague remembered him as being personable, easy to work with and a devoted Christian. Company owner Carl Bert said Wolfe was a close friend and “a class act in every way.”

Michelle Vo, 32, of Los Angeles, hadn’t always loved country music. In fact, it was fairly recently that a family member introduced her to the genre. Slowly she drifted toward it, falling in love with the sweet themes, recalled Diane Hawkins, 40, Vo’s oldest sister.

Erick Silva‘s goal in life was to help others, his uncle Rob Morgan said. Silva, 22, of Las Vegas, was working as a security guard at the concert, and Morgan believes he was one of the first people killed. He learned his nephew was dead when he called his cellphone Monday morning. A woman from the coroner’s office answered, telling him Silva had been shot in the head.

Brennan Stewart, 30, had a passion for music, so it’s no surprise that the Las Vegas resident spent his final evening at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival with his girlfriend, Gia Iantuono.

Cameron Robinson, 27, St. George, Utah, had texted his family about what a good time he’d been having at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival. Hours later, he was fatally shot alongside his boyfriend, who received shrapnel to his lower back.

Jack Beaton, 54, of Bakersfield, California, was at the country music festival with his wife when the shooting occurred. Once the couple realized the firecracker sounds were bullets, Jack Beaton told his wife to “get down” and laid on top of her. He said, “I love you, Laurie.” She said, “I love you, Jack.” And then “he took a bullet” to save his wife’s life.

Jordan McIldoon, 23, was a mechanic from Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada, who was visiting Las Vegas with his girlfriend. His parents described him on CBC News in Canada as outdoorsy and about to begin trade school.

John Phippen, 56, of Santa Clarita, California, was born in New York and later moved to the Golden State. He was the owner of JP Specialties, a home remodeling company in Santa Clarita.

Charleston Hartfield, Las Vegas Police Officer, 34, was off-duty when he attended the Route 91 Harvest country music festival. He was one of many law enforcement officers who went to the country music concert. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Hartfield was a military veteran and coached youth football.

Rhonda LeRocque, 42, of Tewksbury, Massachusetts, was attending the Route 91 Harvest country music festival with her husband and their 6-year-old daughter. LeRocque’s daughter was taken back to their hotel before the shooting occurred.

Priscilla Champagne, LeRocque’s mother, says LeRocque’s husband, Jason, was next to her when she fell. He had thought she was ducking but she did not get up.

Champagne says LeRocque a kindhearted woman with a “beautiful life” who loved cooking, music and her family. She worked at the Cambridge, Massachusetts, office of the design company IDEO.

Bailey Schweitzer is seen in her high school senior portrait. Bailey Schweitzer, 20, was a receptionist at Infinity Communications and Consulting in Bakersfield, California. The company released a statement mourning the loss of Schweitzer, who “was always the ray of sunshine.”

Thomas Day Jr., 54, was with his four children — all in their 20s and 30s — at the Route 91 Harvest Festival. “He was the best dad. That’s why the kids were with him,” said his father, Thomas Day Sr.

Angela Gomez, 20, was a Riverside native who left a lasting impact on her high school classmates and teachers. She graduated from Riverside Polytechnic High School in 2015 and attended classes at Riverside Community College.

Sandy CaseySpecial education teacher, was identified as one of the victims by Manhattan Beach Unified School District in Southern California. Christopher Willemse, her fiance, held Casey on Sunday night as she died from a fatal gunshot to her lower back at the country music festival in Las Vegas.

Jessica Klymchuk, 28, was a mother of four who lived the northwestern Alberta town of Valleyview, Canada, 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.

Denise Salmon Burditus posted a photo on Facebook of herself and her husband, Tony, standing in front of the stage, smiling broadly. Later, after news of the massacre spread, a friend asked simply: “Are you two ok????”

Burditus never replied.

MetroNews, a West Virginia-based radio network, reported that Tony Burditus wrote on his Facebook page that his wife was among the victims.

“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. “Denise passed in my arms. I LOVE YOU BABE.”

Susan Smith, the office manager at Vista Fundamental Elementary School in Simi Valley, California, was killed at the concert, said Jake Finch, a spokeswoman for the Simi Valley School District. Smith, 53, was “a big country music fan,” and had been attending the concert with friends when she was shot, Finch said.

Quinton Robbins, 20, from Henderson, Nevada, was among the victims in Las Vegas. When Robbins first clutched his chest, his girlfriend thought something was wrong with his sugar levels, she told his grandmother. They were on a date at the Jason Aldean concert. They hadn’t been together for very long, but she knew he had diabetes and thought he might need his insulin. She didn’t yet realize that a bullet had torn through his body.

Lisa Romero-Muniz, 42, who was killed at the Las Vegas music festival, was a discipline secretary at Miyamura High School in New Mexico, relatives confirmed. Mike Hyatt, superintendent of the Gallup-McKinley County Schools, said in a statement that Lisa Romero-Muniz was “an incredibly loving and sincere friend, mentor, and advocate for students.” The wife, mother and grandmother was “outgoing, kind and considerate,” Hyatt said.

Rachael Parker, a police records technician from California, was among four Manhattan Beach Police Department employees who were attending the Route 91 Harvest country music festival while off-duty. She was shot and died at the hospital. Another suffered minor injuries.

“She was employed with the Manhattan Beach Police Department for 10 years and will be greatly missed,” the department said in a statement.

Neysa Tonks was among the victims of the tragedy in Las Vegas. A GoFundMe page set up for her says, “She has always been there for her community in time of need, and now we would like to do the same for her . Please join us in remembering her and supporting her 3 boys. This has been set up by Technologent, on behalf of her family, to be used as a vessel of financial support for the funeral and her three boys during this difficult time.”

Adrian Murfitt, Commercial fisherman, 35, of Anchorage, Alaska. His sister, Shannon Gothard, said the family heard from one of Murfitt’s friends who was with him when he died, though they haven’t received official confirmation about his death.

She described Murfitt as a man with a hearty laugh and a former competitive hockey player who still dabbled in the game. “His whole life was always around hockey,” she said.

After graduating from high school, he became a fisherman, picking up odd jobs in the offseason.

He had just come off an extremely successful fishing season when he made the trip to Las Vegas with some good friends, Gothard said.

Her brother “was happy to pay some things off and had made some really good money and decided to go out and celebrate and go to the concert and treat himself to something nice and fun,” she said.

Sonny Melton, Big Sandy, Tenn., was a registered nurse at Henry County Medical Center in Paris, Tenn. Heather Melton, his wife, is an orthopedic surgeon there. When Sonny realized they were being shot at, he immediately wrapped his arms around his wife to protect her.

“I know he saved my life,” Heather said. “When we realized that gun shots were going off and it wasn’t just fireworks like everybody thought, I said, ‘Let’s get down.’ And he said, ‘No we’ll get trampled let’s go.’ And he wrapped his arms around my back.”

“As we started to run I felt him get shot in the back and we fell to the ground,” Heather continued. “At that point there was still gunfire all around us and people were still lying on the ground and I tried to perform CPR on him on the field.”

About the author

Michael Aaron

Michael Aaron

Michael Aaron is the editor and publisher of QSaltLake. He has been active in Utah’s gay and lesbian community since the early 80s and published two publications then and in the 90s.

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