California, Nevada communities rocked by Las Vegas shooting
The mass shooting that took the lives of 59 people on Oct. 1 in Las Vegas had an impact on hockey communities in California and Nevada.
Unfortunately, Los Angeles Kings fan service associate Christiana Duarte was one of the victims that night, while UNLV assistant coach Nick Robone was shot, but is expected to make a full recovery.
The Kings honored Duarte and the other victims at their season-opening game Oct. 5 at the STAPLES Center against Philadelphia.
“Our organization is overwhelmed with grief over the loss of our colleague Chrissy,” Kings president Luc Robitaille said. “We would like to thank everyone for their outreach, love and support. In just a brief period of time, Chrissy had an immeasurable impact on all of us. We want to make every effort to ensure that everyone knows how special she was and the impact she already had made on so many people. We would also ask that everyone please understand and respect her family’s wish for privacy at this difficult time.”
As part of the events at the season opener, the Kings honored Duarte and all of the other victims during a special pre-game ceremony with both a moment of silence and a video. The Kings also saluted first responders who were on the scene.
Kings players wore a special “CD” sticker on the back of their helmets during the game. Kings staff members will be wearing a special pin in her honor. All proceeds from the Kings’ 50-50 raffle sales that evening were donated by the Kings Care Foundation to the Las Vegas Victims’ Fund. Kings players matched the funds raised.
Duarte’s official GoFundMe page is LAKings.com/Chrissy.
“Our hearts go out to Chrissy’s family and loved ones and everyone else associated with this horrible act of terror,” said Kings captain and forward Anze Kopitar. “As a team, it was important for us to contribute in any way possible.”
For Robone, he went in for immediate surgery and was extubated on Oct. 4. He is now able to sit up and breathe on his own and was released from the hospital mid-month. His lung is still badly bruised and will still have a long road to recover in ICU.
A GoFundMe page for Robone has been created at www.gofundme.com/4ioyduo.
Just days after being shot, Robone sent out a message to family and friends via social media.
“I wanted to thank everyone for their kind words, love and generosity,” said Robone. “I’m out of surgery and expected to make a full recovery. However, there are others not as fortunate to have the same support system as me and my family. I urge all of you to share the same charitableness and kindness for the rest of the community, victims and their families as you have for me.”
“We cannot begin to express the amount of support we have seen through both the local community and the hockey world,” UNLV hockey said in a statement. “We are forever grateful for the heroic efforts of the first responders, the LVFD, LVPD and the entire medical staff at Sunrise Hospital.
“We are not here to allow this person’s actions to dictate how we live, work, study and play. We look forward to seeing everyone out in support of our friend and coach Nick Robone and the community of Las Vegas. Together, we will unite and show why this is such a beautiful city.”
The Vegas Golden Knights, the Foley Family Charitable Trust and the NHL also announced a joint donation of $300,000 to support the victims of the shooting and the first responders who have worked fearlessly and tirelessly from the moment tragedy struck.
In addition, under the banner “Vegas United,” the league, its clubs and the players honored the victims at season-opening games and provided additional assistance through pledge drives and other ventures as the NHL family joined together to support Las Vegas.
— Matt Mackinder
(Nov. 13, 2017)