San Jose

San Jose Family Mourns Loss of Its ‘Bright Star' in Las Vegas Mass Shooting

Michelle Vo was gunned down at a country music festival in Las Vegas on Monday and her death has left behind a void in her family.

“I'm completely lost in life without her,” said the victim’s sister, Cathy Vo. “She really was my compass.”

Michelle Vo grew up in San Jose, attended Independence High School and worked at Synopsis in Mountain View. Most recently, she was working as an insurance agent in Los Angeles.

She was at the Route 91 music festival, which was on the last of its three days, when Stephen Paddock opened fire into the crowd of nearly 22,000 people on Sunday, police said.

From the 32nd story of the Mandalay Bay and Casino, the 64-year-old man was able to shoot and kill at least 58 people – including Michelle Vo – and wound another 527.

When he was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot, the Nevada man had nearly two dozen guns, including semi-automatic weapons that had been modified into automatic firearms with the help of bump stocks, according to police.

Michelle Vo’s mother, though emotional at the knowledge that her 32-year-old daughter’s life had been cut short, said she is not angry at Paddock. Instead, Hana Bui said she wants to focus on her child’s life.

“What's coming is coming – you cannot change it,” Bui said. “I forgive (him).”

Michelle Vo send her sister a photograph of herself at the concert shortly before she was shot and killed. Her family believes she died instantly.

Her proud family said she was fearless, traveling around the world on her own, making new friends and living life to the fullest.

The gunman may have snuffed out the Vo family’s guiding light, but Cathy Vo and Hana Bui take comfort in the knowledge that Michelle Vo brought joy not only to their lives but also to the lives of many others.

“She genuinely wanted people to be happy, to be good,” said Cathy Vo. “She was so positive. She was such a bright star.”

San Jose officials plan to hold a vigil for Vo and other shooting victims at City Hall at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

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