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Wife of Cedar City firefighter among those killed in Las Vegas mass shooting

LAS VEGAS — The wife of a Cedar City firefighter was among those killed while attending a country music concert where a gunman opened fire from a high-rise hotel window.

"It is with heavy hearts that we acknowledge the passing of Heather Warino Alvarado, wife of Cedar City firefighter Albert Alvarado," the fire department said Tuesday, adding that the Las Vegas metro police confirmed her death. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Alvarado/Warino family."

Heather Alvarado, 35, was always good to others, according to her husband. The parents of three children, the Alvarados enjoyed traveling and went on many vacations, cruises and daytrips.

"She was happiest when she was together with her family, especially her children, and she would do anything for them," Albert Alvarado said through the fire department.

An account has been opened at State Bank of Southern Utah in Heather Alvarado's name. A GoFundMe account has also been opened.

"Heather is a wife, mother, sister, friend and so much more. Heather took her family to Las Vegas to go to a concert and to get away. Heather is always the first to help out; she is always so welcoming. Anyone she comes across, she makes them feel like family," according to the GoFundMe page.

On Tuesday, friends posted tributes and memories of Alvarado as news of her passing spread.

"She protected her daughter like a true … mama bear would. We will miss you so damn much Heather!" wrote Melinda Wright.

"I taught her daughter. She loved her children fiercely! This breaks my heart for her family," Kami Brindley White posted.

On her own Facebook page, Alvarado last updated her profile picture Friday afternoon with what appears to be a group getting ready for a concert with guitars and amplifiers in the background.

Alvarado becomes at least the third person with Utah ties to be identified as murder victims of Sunday's mass shooting.

Meantime, a Dixie State University student remained hospitalized Tuesday after being shot in the leg during the concert. A bullet shattered her tibia, according to her brother, Gary Rinehart, of Temecula, California.

Because there weren't enough ambulances at that point, someone loaded her and several other people into the back of a pickup truck and drove them to the hospital.

"She was holding her own IV bag," Gary Rinehart told BuzzFeed.

"Prayers for my sister and her friend who were both shot by some stupid (expletive) in Vegas. No words can describe how I'm feeling," he tweeted Monday, and continues to post updates on her condition and photos on Twitter.

"Leg is broke. They are going to put a rod in to fix it when they take bullet out. No time frame for that yet hopefully soon," he tweeted. And later, "She (is) out of surgery it went great. Now going to room so she can rest. Hopefully she can home soon."

Students at Dixie State held a vigil Monday night for those killed and injured in the largest mass shooting in U.S. history. As of Tuesday, 59 people died and 527 were injured in the attack on the Route 91 Harvest, a three-day country music festival in an outdoor venue on the Strip.

Cameron Robinson and Neysa Tonks also died in Sunday's massacre.

Robinson lived in St. George but worked in Las Vegas as a legal records specialist for the city.

"His cubicle was in the center of our office, and it's kind of a good metaphor for him because he was the center of our office. He was the heart and soul," said his boss, longtime Las Vegas City Attorney Brad Jerbic.

Jerbic described Robinson as a kind, gentle person who never shirked his work responsibilities and volunteered for everything. He said Robinson was excited about the country music festival. They're last interaction was teasing each other about their taste in music.

Robinson texted Jerbic a picture of himself having brunch with friends at the Luxor on Sunday morning

"I didn't text him back because who knew. And then I found out the next morning," Jerbic said, recalling going snowboarding and boogie boarding with Robinson.

Fighting back tears, he said, "If ever God put somebody on this earth that would make it better, it was Cameron."

Robinson was killed while attending the concert with his boyfriend, according to friends.

Many tributes were also posted by friends, family and former co-workers on social media.

"He was an awesome guy, so fun to be around and always made you feel included. He will be deeply missed," Courtney Anderson, who identified herself as a second cousin, posted.

"He was a great guy. I have known him since he was 15. He will be greatly missed. My condolences go out to all of his family and his partner who are dealing with this horrible tragedy. Me personally I will miss you, you are a good friend and I'm still in shock that we were talking two weeks ago and (in) a blink you're gone," Jason Farino posted on Facebook.

According to a GoFundMe post, "He was full of life and love and so much passion. He loved his family, friends and everyone he came in contact with. He loved to cook, entertain, run marathons, travel, go camping, boating, and the outdoors in general, and above all surround himself with those he loved and others," according to a GoFundMe post.

Tonks, a Brighton High School graduate, lived in Nevada and worked for a computer software company at the time of her death, but spent most of her life in Utah.

Dyane Burns, of Cottonwood Heights, said she became close with Tonks when Tonks dated her son for a time as a teenager at Brighton High, but the two remained friends long after. Burns on Monday recalled Tonks as a dedicated mom.

"She was just very sweet to keep in touch with me through the years," Burns said, saying she was thinking of Tonks' children in the wake of the tragedy.

A GoFundMe page was established by her co-workers to help with funeral expenses. Tonks is survived by three boys.

Police still had the concert venue cordoned off with yellow tape Tuesday, and streets around it remained closed. People have placed balloons and flowers on the grassy median between the venue and the Mandalay Bay hotel, where the gunman was positioned.

Investigators also continue to look into what motivated retired accountant Stephen Paddock, of Mesquite, Nevada, to open fire on the crowd from a room on the hotel's 32nd floor.

Las Vegas residents are showing support for the victims as well as trying to cope with the tragedy themselves. Several memorials with candles, many in jars with religious artwork and flowers popped up along the Strip.

Elva Armendariz and her boyfriend, David Robles, knelt and lit two white candles among the dozens already burning on the corner at Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard. They wrote "Vegas Strong" on the candles with a marker.

Because she was at work Sunday night, she didn't know about the shooting until seeing it on TV the next day.

"My heart just dropped," Armendariz said. "I didn't know how to feel."

She said it makes her sad to think about such a thing happening in her hometown.

"My heart goes out to all the victims and the victims' families that they had to go through this," Armendariz said. "It doesn't make sense to me."

Robles said he felt sad about mass shootings in other places, "but when it happens in your own hometown, you feel that more in your heart. It hurts a little more."

American Red Cross workers from Utah are among the volunteers helping victims' families, first responders and others, including Red Cross staffers, find their way through the pain physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Some of them are helping at the family assistance and reunification center at the Las Vegas Convention Center. As of Tuesday afternoon, authorities said they knew the identification of all but three of the 59 people killed in the mass shooting.

For every person who died, seven to 10 families members have arrived to see to their loved one, said Linda Walsh-Garrison, a professional chaplain from Salt Lake City. She said people she has interacted with have expressed disbelief and fear.

"Everybody wants to go back a couple of extra days to before this. 'Let's rewind the time and see if we can stop this. It can't possibly be true,'" she said.

Contributing: Pat Reavy, Andrew Adams