A Southern California woman who was paralyzed two years ago during the mass shooting on the Las Vegas strip died Friday, according to a news release from the coroner's division of the San Berardino Sheriff's Department.
Kimberly Gervais, 57, of Mira Loma, California, died at a Redlands Community Hospital in Redlands, California, according to the news release.
Gervais was paralyzed during the mass shooting in the Route 91 Harvest festival -- the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. Stephen Paddock, a high-stakes gambler, opened fire on the crowd that night, according to The New York Times. Paddock apparently took his own life after the shooting with a self-inflicted wound.
On Oct. 1, 2017, gunfire rained down on the festival grounds from a 32nd-floor suite at the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas, killing 58 and wounding hundreds. Gervais suffered a spinal cord injury and was a quadriplegic, NBC News reported.
Gervais ran a business servicing trash compactors, the Times reported in 2017. She used to spend her weekends riding all-terrain vehicles in the desert, the newspaper reported. When her husband, a sprint car racer, died in a crash in 2000, Gervais raised their two daughters on her own, the Times reported.
Gervais suffered greatly in the aftermath of the shooting, her sister, Dena Sarvela, told KPTV.
“She hurt. Even though she was paralyzed from the neck down, she could feel all the pain,” Sarvela told the television station. “There was scrap metal still in her because he used exploding bullets.”
Sarvela said her sister had enjoyed traveling and was ready to retire.
"(We) spoke the night before she went to the concert. She was going to sell the business, she was ready to just go abroad and enjoy life, like she should have, and it was snatched from her," Sarvela told KPTV. "She worked her life, and butt off for – just to go enjoy, you know, and she doesn’t get that, she doesn’t get that chance."
An autopsy will determine the cause and manner of Gervais' death, KGO-TV reported.
Las Vegas city spokesman Jace Radke said city officials were discussing a 59th tree to be planted in Gervais’ honor at the Las Vegas Community Healing Garden. The garden was planted in downtown Las Vegas in the days after the shooting, the Review-Journal reported.
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