TEWKSBURY (CBS/AP) — A public memorial service was held for a 42-year-old Massachusetts woman who was among the 58 people killed in the mass shooting at a Las Vegas country music festival.
Hundreds attended the service for Rhonda LeRocque of Tewksbury Saturday at Tewksbury Memorial High School.
A wake was held on Friday afternoon at the Nicholas Funeral Parlor in Wilmington.
Family members said at the memorial they are “hurting real bad.”
LeRocque was recalled as a fireball, but also a kind and loving woman of faith.
LeRocque was at the concert with her husband, Jason, their 6-year-old daughter and her father-in-law.
The daughter and father-in-law left the event before the shots were fired.
Champagne says LeRocque’s husband was next to her when she was shot.
On Saturday, family member Ken Bell read a statement to the media on Jason’s behalf.
“Rhonda would have been overwhelmed at the outpouring of love, concern and support that so many have shown to me, to our daughter, Aliyah and to our whole family by taking time to come here today and to the visiting hours yesterday. Rhonda was the center of our universe, a beautiful, talented and a person who made all around her feel her welcome and loved. We are heartened by all who came today and to the visiting hours yesterday. The attendance today was nearly 1,000,” he said in part.
Paul Poteat, a Las Vegas livery driver who volunteered to shuttle the LeRocque family from hotel to convention center after Rhonda was killed, was among those who traveled to Massachusetts for the memorial service.
Jean Ribou of Stoneham was a part of the Jehovah Witness Hall of Wilmington with LeRocque.
“This kind of thing kind of beats us down, but it’s not going to keep up paralyzed,” he said. “It’s a dark day in a sense, but because of what we know from the scriptures, we can look to the future with hope and we’re confident that we will see our sister again.”
Governor Charlie Baker visited a CountryFest Memorial in Las Vegas on Saturday.
He said the memorial was “spontaneous, very well done” on Twitter and included pictures in his post.
LeRocque’s photo was also a part of the memorial.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kim Tunnicliffe reports
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)