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Bay Area native among dead in Las Vegas shooting, worked in Glendale

The last post Michelle Vo made to Instagram was a short video from the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas.

It featured musician Sam Hunt singing a country version of an R. Kelly song with many concertgoers, including herself, singing in unison to the lyrics. The 32-year-old Eagle Rock resident, who worked in Glendale, uploaded the video on Sunday and captioned it “Throw back. Love it.”

However, comments on the video were soon populated by frantic messages from friends asking if Vo was all right and hoping she’d check in to say she was safe.

The messages came sometime after she posted the video when someone opened fire on the 22,000 concertgoers at the festival from a hotel room across the street. When the shooting stopped, 59 people were dead and more than 500 were wounded.

Vo was among those killed.

When news broke of her death, Vo’s friends and family took to social media to express their grief and to remember her as someone who led a joyful life and was an inspiration to others.

Diane Hawkins, Vo’s sister, said in a post on Facebook that she “had an infectious smile.”

“She made you feel like you’ve known her for a lifetime when she spoke to you,” she wrote.

A Bay Area native, Vo attended Independence High School in San Jose and graduated from UC Davis. She spent the last three years working in Glendale for the New York Life Insurance Co., according to her LinkedIn profile.

“Like all Americans, we are shocked and saddened at the terrible tragedy that has unfolded in Las Vegas,” a New York Life spokesperson said. “Our grief is deepened by knowing that a member of the New York Life family, Michelle Vo, an agent in our greater Pasadena office, was among those killed.”

Gary May, chancellor for UC Davis, also expressed his condolences at Vo’s passing.

“My prayers go to Michelle and her family as we mourn her,” he said. “Let’s be good to one another in these distressing times and work toward a more peaceful world.”

According to the Washington Post, Vo was a recent country music convert. The festival was the first concert she attended as a newly minted fan of the genre.

It was there that she befriended Kody Robertson, a 32-year-old from Columbus, Ohio. In the Post article, Robertson said he was next to Vo when the shots first rang out at 10:08 p.m.

The two thought it was the sound of fireworks and were trying to look for them.

She was soon struck by a bullet, and Robertson tried to render first aid to Vo. He then placed Vo onto the bed of a pickup truck that shepherded her to a nearby hospital.

But it was all too late.

andy.nguyen@latimes.com

Twitter: @Andy_Truc


UPDATES:

Oct. 4, 2017; 11:51 a.m.: This article was updated with with additional comments from Michelle Vo’s workplace.

This article was originally published at 5:50 p.m. on Oct. 3, 2017.

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