The family of John Phippen, who was killed during the Las Vegas strip mass shooting, have sued Stephen Paddock’s estate.
Phippen was fatally shot after throwing his body over a fellow concert-goer at the Route 91 Harvest music festival, when Stephen Paddock opened fire on Sunday October 1 from his 32nd floor room window in the Mandalay Bay Hotel.
The brave 56-year-old father of six from Santa Clarita was one of 59 people that were killed during the assault, the deadliest in America’s modern history.
John’s grieving family now hope to freeze 64-year-old Paddock’s sizeable assets and hope their lawsuit will prevent his brother Eric and girlfriend Marilou Danley from accessing his fortune.
The Phippens’ attorney, Richard Patterson, told NBC LA it is an action ‘for the benefit of all the victims to preserve these assets’.
Patterson later told ABC LA:
We have filed a petition with the district court in Nevada, requesting that the court appoint a public administrator of the state of Nevada to take control of his assets.
It is for the benefit of everyone. It will preserve the assets subject to the court’s direction and future distribution. Objecting this to make change happen.
To make these concerts, make the hotels more responsible and diligent in preventing these sorts of things.
The family’s lawyer added he is looking into including the Mandalay Bay Hotel in the lawsuit, alleging the building did not have ample exits.
Phippen was killed when shielding a young woman from the gunfire. His 24-year-old son Travis was with him and watched him die.
Travis, an emergency medical technician, still has a bullet in his arm and was wearing a sling as he walked to court to file the suit with his family attorney.
In an interview with NBC LA, he recalled his father’s final words:
My dad and I jumped on these girls that were in front of us and started crawling towards people that were wounded.
I started taking off people’s belts and using them as tourniquets, and he was covering this girl and he got shot.
I got over there as fast as I could, and I put my arm around him and that’s when I got shot.
He gave his life for somebody he didn’t even know.
He told me that he loved me and he wants everybody to know how much he loved them, and he wanted me to tell them. That’s the last thing he said to me.
As a thorough investigation into his motive continues, law enforcement officials said they are ‘confident’ Paddock carried out the Mandalay Bay massacre from his hotel room alone.
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Undersheriff Kevin McMahill said:
We’re very confident there was not another shooter in that room.
What we cannot confirm is whether anybody else knew about this incident before he carried it out.
There are still a number of people out there that know that something looked out of place.
Someone may have been acting suspiciously that night, or in the years prior, the months prior.
Someone that may have seen something or knows something.
As America begins to come to terms with the great loss, a heated debate surrounding gun control has arisen.
For many, Jimmy Kimmel perfectly vocalised the emotions evoked by this tragedy:
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John’s selfless action is just one of many examples of the heroism that took place that fateful night.
Our thoughts are with everyone affected at this devastating time.