- Associated Press - Thursday, October 12, 2017

TEWKSBURY, Mass. (AP) - A Massachusetts mother who was among the 58 people killed in the shooting at a Las Vegas country music festival was remembered by her husband on Thursday for her love and faith.

Rhonda LeRocque, 42, was “the happiest, most caring, sweet, and self-sacrificing person you would ever know,” Jason LeRocque wrote in a statement read by a cousin at police headquarters in their hometown of Tewksbury. It was his first public comment since his wife’s death.

Rhonda was among the first people struck by gunfire that came from the 32nd floor of a nearby hotel on Oct. 1, he said. Their 6-year-old daughter, as well as Jason LeRocque’s father had been with the couple but left before the gunfire.

He said his wife was still breathing when she was brought to the hospital in a stranger’s pickup truck.

He thanked the strangers and first responders who helped get his wife to the hospital, as well as the medical personnel who gave him a precious two extra hours with her before she died.

“I was with her the entire time,” he said.

Jason LeRocque, 41, also thanked the multitude of people who have helped the family since their return to Tewksbury, offering comfort, bringing meals and raising money.

Rhonda LeRocque was a devout Jehovah’s Witness who had helped with disaster relief efforts in Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida and Jamaica.

Rhonda was a firm believer in the Bible’s hope for the future that soon death and violent acts will no longer exist,” LeRocque wrote. “At this time, as difficult as her death is to all who knew her, we are comforted by this message as well, and will continue to share this message with others.”

The service for Rhonda LeRocque is planned for Saturday at 10:30 a.m. in the auditorium of Tewksbury Memorial High School. A wake is scheduled for Friday afternoon at the Nicholas Funeral Parlor in Wilmington.

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