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Family and friends pay tribute to Eagle Rock woman killed in Las Vegas mass shooting

Michelle Vo | Courtesy New York LIfe

EAGLE ROCK — Her neighbors on Wicopee Avenue described Michelle Vo as “super friendly.” One of her fellow workers at New York Life Insurance praised her on Instagram as a “wonderful soul” who was “a mentor to many.” And, last week in San Jose, where Vo grew up, hundreds gathered at a vigil to honor the memory of the 32-year-old life insurance agent who died in Las Vegas during the nation’s largest mass shooting.

Vo was born in Fullerton to Vietnamese parents before the family moved to the San Jose area. She attended UC Davis, where she met her husband, Tomo Swendsen. In Southern California, she worked in the Glendale offices of New York Life, not too far from the couple’s home on Wicopee, a narrow street that runs along the base of a  small canyon.

The couple were separated at the time of her death, according to the San Jose Mercury News. Neighbors said the couple had moved out about two weeks before her death as they were apparently preparing to sell the home.  She was “approachable and super nice to us,” said a neighbor.

Vo’s Instagram account includes photos taken at the outdoor country music concert on the night she died. An Ohio man who met Vo at the concert describes how the two were standing about 20 yards from the stage when gunfire started raining down on the crowd. “She got hit and I turned and saw her immediately fall to the ground,” Kody Robertson told the Washington Post. “She was literally right beside me, maybe two feet away.”

Paul Warren, her brother-in-law, said that Vo had spoken to to her family about what should be done in case of her death.

“She had this fondness for beaches and she was very precise in saying, if she ever passed away, for her ashes to be spread on different beaches around the world,” Warren told USA Today. “That’s where she wanted to be so that’s what we will be doing.”

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