Two years after Las Vegas massacre, California woman becomes 59th fatality
More than two years after a gunman opened fire at a country music festival on the Las Vegas Strip, a Mira Loma woman who was paralyzed in the attack has died, authorities said, raising the death toll of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history to 59.
Kimberly Gervais, 57, died Friday evening at Redlands Community Hospital, according to San Bernardino County coroner’s officials. An autopsy to determine the official cause of death is pending. Gervais had suffered spinal injuries and was living in a nursing facility before being taken to the hospital Friday, authorities said.
On Oct. 1, 2017, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock carried out a meticulously planned attack from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel across the street from the Route 91 Harvest country music festival. He fired a modified semiautomatic gun randomly at the crowd.
The initial death toll was 20, but that number soon climbed.
In a Facebook group dedicated to survivors and victims of the shooting, Gervais’ death was mourned.
“Our hearts are extremely heavy tonight with this incredibly sad tragic news,” a post from Sunday read. “Our hearts, thoughts and prayers are with the family of Kim Gervais who became the 59th fatality of the Las Vegas mass shooting when her heart gave out over the weekend after bravely struggling from her injuries which had left her a paraplegic.”
Las Vegas officials are considering adding another tree to the Las Vegas Community Healing Garden memorializing the victims, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Gervais’ sister, Dena Sarvela, told KPTV that the quadriplegic woman suffered immensely in the last two years.
“She hurt. Even though she was paralyzed from the neck [down], she could feel all the pain,” Sarvela told the Oregon news outlet. “There was scrap metal still in her because he used exploding bullets.”
According to a New York Times story about Gervais, the woman broke down in tears when she learned she was left without the use of her limbs.
Gervais had attended country music concerts for years and had looked forward to the Route 91 festival. Weeks later, she found herself in a hospital room, confined to a wheelchair.
“I’m disgusted,” she told the New York Times of the gunman. “I’m angered. I have all kinds of emotions toward him. Because he took a part of me that I can’t get back.”
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