Published on the 2nd of October 2017 in The New York Times
The night began as a celebration. Thousands gathered in Las Vegas for one last night of song at a long-awaited country music festival. They had driven in from towns all over California. They had flown in from Alaska, Tennessee, West Virginia. They were teachers, police officers, secretaries, retirees.
Many had planned for weeks, even months, this weekend of relaxation. Some came with elaborate plans amid the music: a reunion with old friends, a wedding anniversary, even a marriage proposal.
Then came gunfire — sudden and rapid and seemingly endless. When it was over, 58 people had been killed and hundreds more injured, making the attack at the Route 91 Harvest Festival on Oct. 1 one of the deadliest mass shootings in American history.
The victims included 36 women and 22 men. The oldest was 67, the youngest 20. Here are their stories.
Hannah Ahlers, 34 and a mother of three, grew up listening to country music and was a huge fan. She went to the concert on Sunday with her husband, Brian Ahlers, whom she had met in high school. They had been married 17 years, and lived in Beaumont, Calif.
Her brother, Lance Miller, confirmed Ms. Ahlers’s death. Her family described her as having “loved life and people.”
“She was our sunshine,” they said in a statement.
She was a homemaker, an active member in her children’s schools and community, and was very involved with extracurricular activities, including her daughter’s volleyball team.
“She wasn’t too good for anybody,” Mr. Ahlers said. “Beautiful, inside and out.”
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