Mothers, In Memoriam
The deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. History is still a puzzling event for crime investigators and people around the world who woke up Monday morning to the news that a violent massacre had taken place in Las Vegas, Nevada.
On the night of October 1, Stephen Paddock, a 64-year old Nevada resident aimed his semi-automatic weapon at a large crowd in an area adjacent to the Mandalay Bay Hotel, where he had checked-in three days prior.
From his room on 32nd floor, he opened fire at 10:08pm, killing 58 and injuring over 500 concertgoers.
Among the victims were nine Southern California Moms who lived in the greater Los Angeles area or neighboring counties and had traveled to Las Vegas for the 4th Annual Route 91 Harvest Festival, an event that had gathered country music artists and 22,000 country music fans.
The gunman committed suicide as law enforcement began closing in on him. The motive for the crime remains a mystery.
“The loss of life in Las Vegas is profoundly horrifying. Innocent people went out for an evening of fun and walked into a nightmare that defies our ability to understand or express sorrow in words,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.
The Los Angeles-area moms who passed away following the deadly attack, lived normal, happy lives and based on information compiled from around the web, many of their families are still processing the tragic loss.
Mommy In Los Angeles® did not reach out to the victims’ families. We do, however, hope to share more about them in the coming weeks.
Every Mom Has A Story.
May they never be forgotten:
Candice Bowers- Garden Grove
The 40-year old single mother from Garden Grove had taken a well-deserved mini vacation to Las Vegas with a friend. She worked at a local restaurant and was raising her kids, including an adopted baby.
Bowers’ family told a local TV station they’re still waiting to hear from relatives who rushed to the desert in search of news and additional details that might give them closure.
Dana Gardner- San Bernardino
52-year-old Dana Gardner from Grand Terrace, was among those killed on Sunday night. She was a San Bernardino County employee for 26 years.
Dana had traveled to Las Vegas with her daughter Kayla to enjoy the country music festival. She was looking forward to becoming a grandmother.
Her son Ryan is expecting his first child.
Denise Cohen- Carpinteria
Denise Cohen from Carpinteria went to Las Vegas for the weekend with her boyfriend. Neither survived.
She worked in the field of property management in Santa Barbara and was an active member of her church. She had planned to volunteer at this weekend’s California Avocado Festival in Carpinteria.
Denise was 57 years old. She left behind two adult sons.
Hannah Ahlers- BeaumontThe
The 34-year old Stay-At-Home mom was loved by many in her hometown of Redlands. The family moved to Beaumont five years ago where Hannah was very involved with her kids’ school. She had been married to her husband Brian since the age of 17.
They had three kids, ages 3,11,14
Jennifer Parks- Lancaster
Jennifer Parks was in her third year of teaching elementary school in Palmdale. People that knew her described her as caring and enthusiastic.
The married mom of two had received a Master’s degree in Education and lived in Lancaster with her family.
Jennifer was in her early 30s. Besides teaching, she also coached the volleyball team for the school.
Keri Galvan- Thousand Oaks
Keri Galvan was with her husband Justin when she was struck by a bullet in the head at the Route 91 Harvest Festival.
Justin, who’s a former U.S. Marine, performed CPR and told a local TV station he did “everything he could” to try to revive his wife.
Keri leaves behind three kids, ages 2, 4 and 10.
Lisa Patterson- Lomita
Lisa Patterson had two older daughters and an 8 year old girl.
She and her husband, Bob, had been married for 30 years and traveled to Las Vegas frequently.
She was known to be very active in her church. She was also a volunteer with her younger daughter’s softball league.
Susan Smith- Simi Valley
Susan Smith, 53, was an office manager at Vista Elementary School where she had been working for three years. In all, she had been with the Simi Valley Unified School District for 16 years. Described as a country music lover, she traveled to Las Vegas with two fellow school district employees who returned home unharmed.
Susan’s was married with two young adult children.
Rocio Guillen- Eastvale
Originally from Anaheim, Rocio Guillen was a full-time working mom of four children: Marcus, 18; Chris, 13; Sophia, 1 and newborn baby Austin who turned a month old.
She was planning to get married with her fiance Chris Jaksha, who is the father of her two youngest children.
Known as “supermom” people remembered Rocio for attending her sons’ sports practices and loudly cheering them.
Aside from the SoCal moms listed in this post, there are an additional 49 victims who died, many of whom were moms from other areas in California and around the country.
Here at Mommy In Los Angeles®, we offer our deepest condolences to the families of all the victims of this heinous crime.
To the injured who are still being treated at Las Vegas hospitals, we wish you strength, perseverance and a speedy recovery.