SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — Family members and friends gathered Monday to remember the victims of the Las Vegas mass shooting in 2017, which was the deadliest mass shooting in history–58 people were killed and hundreds of others were injured.
On October 1, 2017, Stephen Paddock opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel into the audience of the Route 91 Harvest Festival on the Las Vegas Strip.
Organizers of the sunrise ceremony in Las Vegas released 58 doves for the dead. The lights on the famed Vegas Strip will temporarily go dark Monday night in honor of the victims.
One of the victims, Michelle Vo, was from San Jose. KPIX 5 spoke to her family to see how they honored her on the anniversary of her tragic death.
Vo, 32, was an insurance agent. She was in the crowd during the Route 91 Harvest Festival, enjoying her first country concert.
She posted photos showing fun and good times on her Instagram account merely minutes before the shooting occurred.
“I just want to say we miss her a lot,” said Hana Bui, Vo’s mother.
San Jose City Councilmember Lan Diep went to Independence High School with Vo and her sister. Five days after the tragedy, he helped organize a candlelight vigil for her family, which drew many people who knew Vo from her days in San Jose and at UC Davis.
Many of her friends that her family didn’t know attended the vigil and shared stories about the kindness she’d spread to them.
“She’s always been like that, that was the type of person she was. She was an angel, because only an angel could do that,” recalled a tearful Diane Hawkins.
After Vo’s funeral, her family handed out ribbons with the phrase #keepgoodgoing (“Keep Good Going”) on them–it was a hashtag Vo used on social media. They asked those who knew her to spread her message wherever and whenever they traveled.
Vo’s sister Cathy took the ribbon on a trip to Iceland during what would have been Vo’s 33rd birthday.
Councilmember Diep also bore the ribbon in honor of his friend.
“I’ve brought that ribbon to Europe, Japan, to just kind of keep the memory of Michelle alive,” he said. “So I’m happy to do that small part.”
Vo’s friends and family wanted to make certain that she’s remembered for the life she led and not by her tragedy.
“We’re really thankful for all the people who take her ribbon with them on their travels and then send us the pictures in her memory. It’s just really good to know that other people remember her and keep her spirit alive also,” said Cathy Vo.
Before she died, Vo told her husband that if anything ever happened to her, she wanted her family and friends to do something kind for someone in honor of her memory.