A friend remembers Marina resident who was a victim of the Las Vegas shooting

By Gary Walker

Michelle Vo, 32, had recently joined the LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce

The first time that Casey Lubin met Michelle Vo two years ago they immediately connected, as if they’d known each other for years.

“We met for lunch, then later that night we had dinner together. She became one of my best friends,” recalled Lubin, a Playa Vista resident and a manager at Plaza Bank in Manhattan Beach.

Vo, who had recently relocated to Marina del Rey from Glendale, is one of the 58 people killed during the Oct. 1 Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas, the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

The aftershocks of the tragic killings in Las Vegas have reverberated throughout Southern California.

In addition to Vo, Manhattan Beach Police Technician Rachael Parker was killed and Manhattan Beach Police Officer Chad Swanson was injured.

“I’ve been stopping myself from texting her [since the massacre]. We really understood each other. No judgment… only encouragement,” said Lubin. “You don’t meet friends like that often.”

Vo, 32, was a native of San Jose and worked for New York Life Insurance in Pasadena, where she worked for eight years.

“Like all Americans, we are shocked and saddened at the terrible tragedy that has unfolded in Las Vegas. Our grief is deepened by knowing that a member of the New York Life family, Michelle Vo, an agent in our Greater Pasadena office, was among those killed. During this terrible time, our thoughts and prayers go out to her family and loved ones,” wrote a New York Life spokesman in an email.

Lubin learned that her friend had been killed via a Facebook post from Vo’s sister Diane Hawkins on Oct. 2. The night before, she texted Vo but did not hear from her.

“I never wanted to ever relive that feeling again,” Lubin said about learning of her friend’s death via social media.

Vo joined the LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce in Westchester on Sept. 6 under the New York Life Company.

“The chamber’s staff and leadership sends out condolences to her family, friends, and anyone else affected by this heartbreaking situation,” the chamber said in a statement.

Lubin, who is also a member of the Coastal Chamber of Commerce, said Vo loved to travel and often sent her inspirational quotes.

“I really felt like we were coming into our own professionally,” she said.

Lubin has started a campaign in Vo’s honor called Michelle’s Table Scholarship Program to fund scholarships for young women.




To donate visit michellestable.org.