SIMI VALLEY (CBSLA) — People gathered in Simi Valley Sunday night to remember victims of the Vegas shooting. Five of those killed were from Ventura County.
The remembrance took place at Simi Valley Town Center.
The five victims from Ventura County are Susan Smith of Simi Valley, Chris Hazencomb of Camarillo, Laura Shipp of Thousand Oaks, Keri Galvan also of Thousand Oaks and Derrick “Bo” Taylor from Oxnard.
Families and friends of those killed shared stories and memories of their loved ones.
The family of Smith came to remember the mother, wife and elementary school office manager killed at the country music festival.
Friends described her as a warm person who was always smiling and spreading joy.
“I had just talked to her on Thursday. I just was in the office with her and even right now hearing that it’s her. It hit home,” said TJ McInturff.
“I can’t believe how many people are here and it means a lot,” said Sabah Murtadha. “She’s being supported and loved by her family and her spirit is here I know.”
The ceremony was hosted by Gotta Dance Academy where Smith’s daughter attended classes.
Organizers said they hope the vigil is an opportunity for the community to heal.
“Susan was a big part of the Simi community and we just wanted a night where we could all be together in her honor but also to spread the message of hope and healing and unity and love,” said organizer Jen Cristman. “Something that we think is so necessary all the time but especially right now.”
Everyone Sunday night was determined to unite against violence.
“These senseless tragedies have to stop,” said Mark Grossman. “People need to wake up and this is one way to spread the message.”