The 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting targeting the Route 91 Harvest music festival across the Strip from MGM Resorts’ Mandalay Bay has become even deadlier. A 57-year-old Southern California woman critically injured and paralyzed in the event died last week.
The family of Kimberly Gervais of Mira Loma, California, say she succumbed to her injuries on Friday. Gervais was shot in her spine on October 1, 2017, and was left quadriplegic (paralysis of both the arms and legs).
“She hurt. Even though she was paralyzed from the neck down, she could feel all the pain,” a relative said of Gervais in the shooting aftermath. The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department stated Gervais died at the Redlands Community Hospital.
A GoFundMe account opened following the shooting raised more than $131,000 for her recovery effort. Gervais also qualified for $275,000 from the Las Vegas Victims Fund, and $275,000 from the US Justice Department’s Antiterrorism and Emergency Assistance Program. Her estate can also settle with MGM Resorts should they opt into the proposed settlement offer from the casino operator.
An update shared on the campaign said Gervais was making improvement, but was battling PTSD and severe anxiety and panic attacks. The FBI concluded its investigation into the shooting without pinpointing a motive for the perpetrator’s actions.
Death Toll Increases
Though others who were at the Route 91 country music festival have died since the October 1 Las Vegas mass shooting, Gervais is the first physically injured to die in more than two years. The last direct death from the shooting occurred two days after the shooting on October 3, 2017.
Local officials are expected to formally increase the total number of dead victims to 59. At 58, it’s already the deadliest mass shooting in American history. The second is the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting that killed 48 victims.
The Las Vegas Community Healing Garden says it will add a 59th tree in remembrance.
That garden has grown into a place for everyone in the city to go to find peace and to grieve,” Las Vegas Public Information Officer Jace Radke told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “Obviously, the events of Oct. 1 arced the building of it, but it really has been and always is for anyone in need of finding peace.”
Clark County said in a tweet, “Our thoughts go out to the family and friends of Kim Gervais. For the past two years, she had battled the physical and psychological toll of the Las Vegas shooting.”
In September, MGM Resorts – which owns not only Mandalay Bay where the shooter fired from, but also the outdoor concert site – announced plans to transform the 15-acre Las Vegas Village into a community and athletics center.
“It was important to us that the long-term use of the property include the community in some way,” MGM said in a statement. “We also plan to create a space on the property to remember the victims of the tragedy.”
In the interim, the property will serve as a parking lot for Allegiant Stadium, home of the NFL Raiders, beginning next year.
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