John Phippen
John Phippen

A 56-year-old Long Island native was among 58 killed when a gunman opened fire last week at a Las Vegas music festival, leaving more than 500 wounded before the shooter committed suicide.

John Phippen, a contractor, father of six and grandfather of one residing in California, was at the Route 91 Harvest Festival with his 24-year-old son, Travis, when the shooting happened, according to multiple reports. They were both reportedly helping victims when they were shot, although Travis survived.

“He gave his life for somebody he didn’t even know,” Travis Phippen told NBC Los Angeles.

Authorities have yet to determine a motive for the mass shooting committed by Stephen Paddock, 64, an accountant and high-stakes gambler from Nevada who shot at the crowd from the 32nd floor of the nearby Mandalay Bay hotel and casino. The shooting is the deadliest mass murder committed by a lone gunman in US history.

John Phippen lists Hempstead as his hometown on his Facebook page. Newsday reported that he’s originally from Massapequa.

His family has reportedly filed suit to freeze the assets of the gunman, who was a multi-millionaire. And Phippen’s neighbor set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for his family. The fundraiser collected $64,793 as of Monday evening.

John Phippen’s wife died three years ago and his youngest daughter is 14.

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Timothy Bolger is the Editor in Chief of the Long Island Press who’s been working to uncover unreported stories since shortly after it launched in 2003. When he’s not editing, getting hassled by The Man or fielding cold calls to the newsroom, he covers crime, general interest and political news in addition to reporting longer, sometimes investigative features. He won’t be happy until everyone is as pissed off as he is about how screwed up Lawn Guyland is.