‘If he knew you, he loved you’: Austin Davis of Riverside killed in Las Vegas shooting
By Ryan Hagen
RIVERSIDE >> When Austin Davis’ parents heard their son may have been wounded at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas, they didn’t hesitate.
They left that moment, family friend Katelyn Hood said on a GoFundMe page to help the family cope. For 20 hours, they endured the chaos of the hospital to find out if he was OK.
“Their bond as a family is unlike anything I’ve ever witnessed,” Hood wrote. “Austin was Lori and Gary’s only child. Their pride and joy to every extent. They raised the best son. He was the man’s man.”
But Davis, a 29-year-old pipefitter from Riverside enjoying “a guy’s trip” with his friend Thomas Day and a few others, wasn’t OK. He and Day were killed.
All of their other friends from that group returned safely, but a close-knit group was ripped apart, said Courtney Belger, one of Davis’ best friends.
Davis formed tight bonds, she said, especially with his parents and with his girlfriend of nine years, Aubree Hennigan. They requested reporters not contact them.
Belger played softball with Davis for a few years — “the kid had a swing like no other,” she said — as part of a group of 15 close friends. In the last year, she started to see why people grew so close to him.
Riding to softball tournaments, they would perform karaoke to country songs. Other times, they would chill by the pool with some beer — and, again, some country music.
He would help anyone who needed it without question, Belger said.
“It wouldn’t matter if I was out with friends and needed a ride, Austin would drop everything to be with one of us friends,” she said. “He’s that person that you can always ask and know he’s going to come through for you.”
Now his friends are hoping people will […]