Family, Community Continue to Mourn Death of Tewksbury Woman Killed in Vegas Rampage - NECN
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Family, Community Continue to Mourn Death of Tewksbury Woman Killed in Vegas Rampage

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The family and community of a Massachusetts woman killed in Sunday's shooting rampage in Las Vegas is mourning her death.

    (Published Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017)

    The family and community of a Massachusetts woman killed in Sunday's shooting rampage in Las Vegas continue to mourn her death.

    Thousands of miles from Las Vegas, Priscilla Champagne is struggling with the pain of losing her 42-year-old daughter, Rhonda LeRocque, of Tewksbury.

    Champagne woke up early Monday morning to a chilling phone call to hear that LeRocque had been shot and killed during the Route 91 Harvest Festival across the street from the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on the Las Vegas strip.

    "She was a woman of God. I'm sure Jehovah God is upset that one of his beautiful, beautiful people is no longer here," Champagne said from her Lowell home on Tuesday afternoon.

    LaRocque was in Vegas with her husband, Jason, their six-year-old daughter and family on Sunday. As the music festival went long, her father-in-law took their daughter back to the hotel.

    Minutes later, the bullets started flying.

    "Jason, was right next to her when she fell, he thought she was ducking, he thought she was ducking, but she didn't get up," Champagne said.

    LaRocque was active the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witness in Wilmington.

    "She was a sweetheart, she really was. She was outgoing, she was a giving person, just a wonderful, wonderful heart. The whole thing is just a terrible shame," Church Elder Gary Nelson said.

    "I pray for Jason, and his family, for them to rally around each other they will have support from the congregation here," he added.

    With investigators still searching for a motive Tuesday, LaRocque's family filled with so many questions and so much pain.

    Champagne said family members have rushed to Vegas to be with Jason and their daughter, as they try and figure out how, and when, they'll be able to bring LeRocque home.

    "This is senseless, if he wanted to commit suicide, go do it, who cares, but why take innocent lives, this was so reckless," Champagne said.

    At least 59 people were slain in Sunday's mass shooting, which also left more than 520 others injured. Investigators say the gunman, identified as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, died from a self-inflicted gunshot in a room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay.

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