Christopher “Chris” Roybal, 28, fought with the U.S. Navy in Afghanistan, but was killed while at a country music concert in Las Vegas, Nevada. Roybal is just one of 59 other victims to have been slaughtered in the worst shooting in United States history. His very last Facebook post addressed how it is like to be constantly asked “What’s it like to be shot at?”
Roybal’s mother, Debby Allen, told the New York Daily News.“I got him home safe from Afghanistan and never thought I would have to worry about losing him again. He used to tell me stories about how scary it was. He was in two gun battles where he thought he wouldn’t make it back home.”
Debby added, “I was so proud to be his mom. He made me feel so happy.”
Roybal’s mother told Gabby Hart of KSNV that she was also at the concert during Sunday’s shooting and that she wanted to go back to save her son. Hart reported, “Says she tried to run toward him but bystander stopped her saying she couldn’t toward the gunfire.”
“I desperately wanted to go back in to find him. Nobody would let me go back in, they were pulling me away. I kept screaming, ‘My son! My son!’ But they said, ‘You can’t go back into the gunfire,’” she told the Daily News. “It was horrible. I couldn’t keep my feet underneath me. I kept collapsing. I just wanted to go back in so badly. But people were jumping over everything to get out.”
They were both in Las Vegas to celebrate Chris’ upcoming 29th birthday party.
“He was the most funny, amazing guy ever. He loved karaoke and all types of music. He had a knack for singing Spanish love songs,” said Allen. “He loved to watch chick flicks with me.”
Who is Chris Roybal?
Chris Roybal served and fought in Afghanistan with the United States Navy. He died on Sunday by being shot in the chest.
Roybal’s friend Matthew Austin wrote on Facebook that the two joined the military while they were “just boys,” and what happened to his friend “breaks (his) heart.”
“It breaks my heart and infuriates me that a veteran can come home from war unharmed and events like these occur,” Austin wrote. “Shipmate you were taken much to soon, and my thoughts and prayers are with your family. Rest easy friend. You have been relieved and we have the watch.”
On July 18, Roybal wrote on Facebook about what it is like to constantly be asked ““What’s it like to be shot at?””:
Finishing up what was supposed to be a quick 4-hour foot patrol, I remember placing my hand on the Stryker and telling Bella how well she did. Hearing the most distinct sounds of a whip cracking and pinging of metal off of the vehicle I just had my hand resting on is something that most see in movies.
I remember that first day, not sure how to feel. It was never fear, to be honest, mass confusion. Sensory overload…followed by the most amount of natural adrenaline that could never be duplicated through a needle. I was excited, angry and manic. Ready to take on what became normal everyday life in the months to follow. Taking on the fight head on, grabbing the figurative “Bull by the horns”.
According to his Facebook page, Roybal served in Sperwan, Kandahar in Afghanistan.
LeeAnn Klein of Riverside, California, sent up a GoFundMe page to help Roybal’s family in this tragic time. In the very first 35 minutes, the page raked in $1,670. The goal was set at 15k, but the page has already received well over $24k.
“He had the biggest heart and was loved by all his family & friends. We are raising money to help his family with funeral costs,” Klein wrote. “My name is LeeAnn and I am a friend of Chris’s. I see the impact he had on all of us around him and he will be greatly missed.”
In an interview with Heavy.com, Taylor Janda, one of Roybal’s friends, said that “Chris was the kindest most selfless human being I’ve ever met. He could instantly light up a room. All he wanted was to make his friends, and even random strangers, happy. He is truly one of a kind, and will be missed.”