STAPLES CENTER (CBSLA) — Before the Los Angeles Kings went to battle in their season opener, the team took time to pause, reflect and honor the victims and heroes of the Las Vegas shooting.
But for the Kings, the loss was very personal — employee Christiana Duarte was one of the many victims remembered Thursday night before the game.
The 22 year-old from Redondo Beach was in her first year working for the Kings as a fan service associate, but her co-workers said she was a rising star.
She graduated from the University of Arizona with several sports marketing internships under her belt and she grew up in a family that loved sports. She played softball at South Torrance High. Her father is LA County Deputy DA Michael Duarte. Her brother Mikey was just drafted by the Chicago White Sox.
Thursday night, in a touching tribute, players had Duarte’s initials CD in a heart, on the back of their helmets.
“Obviously her life has just been cut way short. So I think the Kings family is really coming together and really want to make sure everyone knows who she was and continue her memory here,” said Kings fan Erik Wentzell.
“Make sure that everyone is just unified in this loss we just had,” Kings fan Candy Rosales said.
“The reasons those people went there is for fun and pleasure and to have a good time,” said Kings fan Shana Wentzell. “So when it hits close to home to where we live and where we work, it just affects you.”