A Southern California woman who was wounded in the 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting has died, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Coroner Department said.
Kimberly Gervais, 57, of Mira Loma, California, was one of the more than 500 people injured when Stephen Paddock opened fire from his hotel room on the Route 9 Harvest Music Festival on October 1, 2017.
Fifty-eight people were killed in the attack, making it the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history. Gervais’ death could potentially be the 59th fatality, depending on the findings of an autopsy.
Gervais, who suffered spinal injuries and had been recovering at a nursing facility in Redlands, California, died Friday, the coroner said in a statement Monday.
An autopsy will be performed to determine the cause and manner of death, the statement said.
“She’ll never leave my heart, ever,” Dena Sarvela, Gervais’ sister, told CNN affiliate KPTV.
Gervais went to the festival with two other friends, one of whom was killed in the shooting, Sarvela told KPTV.
The night before the festival, Sarvela says Gervais told her she was ready to sell her business, retire and enjoy her life, KPTV reported.”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,” Sarvela said.
She said that Gervais had been in pain despite being paralyzed from the neck down in the shooting, the affiliate reported. “There was scrap metal still in her because he used exploding bullets,” Sarvela explained.
Her sister said she is comforted by the thought that Gervais can join her late husband, who died in 2000.
“I also know she was missing her husband very, very much, and that’s what gives me hope — that she’s with him right now,” Sarvela said.