NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY
Michelle Vo, 32, was among the casualties in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
Diane Hawkins, Vo’s sister who lives in Washington state, said in a post on Facebook that Vo “had an infectious smile.”
Vo is one of 59 people killed by 64-year-old gunman Stephen Paddock on the night of Oct. 1, during a performance by country music star Jason Aldean at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas. The gunman hammered out a window at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino and began firing with a cache of weapons. Authorities who stormed Paddock’s room found that he had killed himself.
Vo’s mother emigrated from Vietnam after the fall of Saigon, bringing along two daughters. Michelle Vo was born in the United States and grew up in San Jose, Calif. Her Vietnamese name is “My,” which according to her sister, means “America.”
Vo held a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Davis, and she received several awards during her career at New York Life Insurance Company.
One of Vo’s high school friends wrote on Facebook, “She was wicked smart, kind, beautiful.”
Another wrote, “I’m very saddened to have found my childhood friend Michelle Vo was amongst the victims … Rest easy Michelle.”
Hawkins told SFGATE that her sister was as devoted to her family as she was to her work. When she would visit, Vo would often bond with her sister’s 8-year-old daughter, and her sister lamented that Vo will never be able to start a family of her own.
Vo hadn’t always loved country music until fairly recently, when a family member introduced her to the genre, the Washington Post reported. Vo decided to attend her first country music festival, traveling alone last week to Las Vegas.
The motive for the attack remained a mystery, and authorities believe Paddock acted alone.
Paddock had 23 guns — some with scopes — in his hotel room, authorities said. They found two gun stocks that allowed the shooter to replicate fully automatic fire, and are investigating whether weapons used in the massacre had those modifications, according to a U.S. official briefed by law enforcement who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is still unfolding.
At Paddock’s home, authorities found 19 more guns, explosives, and thousands of rounds of ammunition. Also, several pounds of ammonium nitrate, a fertilizer that can be turned into explosives such as those used in the 1995 Oklahoma bombing, were in his car, Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said.
The FBI said it found nothing so far to suggest the attack was connected to international terrorism, despite a claim of responsibility from the Islamic State group.
While Paddock appeared to have no criminal history, his father was a bank robber who was on the FBI’s most-wanted list in the 1960s.
Staff can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.