LAS VEGAS (AP) — The white angel wings jut upright from the earth with a warm glow of light, towering above the site of modern America’s deadliest mass shooting.
As the sun sets over the Las Vegas Strip, painting a purple horizon, visitors gaze up at the monument erected in the same place where 58 people were shot and killed and hundreds more were injured on the final night of a country music festival on Oct. 1, 2017. Two survivors later died from their gunshot wounds.
This scene is depicted in one of five design renderings for a permanent memorial to be built on the site of the shooting to honor victims, survivors and first responders.
Clark County is set to unveil 3D models of each design at a new exhibit in downtown Las Vegas later Monday morning, marking a major step in an arduous planning process that began more than three years ago and had been stalled by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The exhibit at Clark County’s government center will be open until early September.
“These concepts show in vivid detail the power of what this memorial effort means to so many in five unique ways,” Jim Gibson, chairman of the Clark County Commission, said in a statement. Gibson’s district includes the site of the shooting.
Each of the five potential designs includes a garden element, with trees along walking paths or flower beds framing the memorial. One design showcases large horse statues. Another is centered around a cluster of light poles, each with photos of a victim.
Later this month, a committee tasked with planning the memorial will collect public input on the design proposals that they say will help them craft their final plan for a memorial. The committee is set to submit its plan to the county commission for approval ahead of the massacre’s sixth anniversary.
“No matter which design concept gets recommended, we can be proud of the process our committee put into place and amazing ideas inspired by it,” Commissioner Marilyn Kirkpatrick said in a statement.
Kirkpatrick and former Gov. Steve Sisolak formed the planning committee in 2019. It includes a survivor of the shooting and the sister of victim Neysa Tonks, a 46-year-old mother of three from Las Vegas.
Each of the proposed memorials on display at the exhibit were put together by a different design team with community input that the committee gathered in a series of earlier surveys, including one that found a clear majority of respondents wanted the permanent memorial to be built at the site of the massacre.
In response, MGM Resorts International donated 2 acres (0.8 hectares) of the 15-acre (6.1-hectare) property for the memorial in August 2021. The casino company recently sold the remaining land to the Three Affiliated Tribes of the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation based in central North Dakota.
The permanent memorial will be separate from a community healing garden in downtown Las Vegas built by more than 1,000 volunteers in the days after the shooting.