- Associated Press - Friday, October 27, 2017

LAS VEGAS (AP) - A spray-paint mural with colorful hearts containing the names of 58 men and women killed in the Oct. 1 shooting in Las Vegas is providing some inspiration for victims’ families and neighborhood residents alike.

Five graffiti artists worked for about 17 straight hours from Sunday through Monday morning to create the 200-foot-long (61-meter-long) mural at the corner of Westcliff Drive and Antelope Way, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported .

The effort was organized by Kitos Lucero, a lifelong Las Vegas resident who for more than a year has been creating murals for children diagnosed with cancer and childhood cancer victims.

“There had to be something I could give to the families who lost their loved ones,” Lucero said. “It’s something that came from the heart of one person to another to say ‘your life is not over.’ Her life or his life may be over, but they are not forgotten. There are people out here that care.”

Lucero said he got permission from the owners of homes abutting the wall and used close to 100 cans of spray paint donated on site to create the piece.

Cecil Abeyta, who helps manage a 7-Eleven across the street, watched the mural’s creation.

“It was inspirational,” Abeyta said. “You should have seen all the traffic yesterday. Our parking lot was packed.”

Mynda Smith, 42, was among several people who stopped to take pictures of the wall. Smith’s sister Neysa Tonks was killed in the shooting, and was honored in the mural.

“Every gift that’s given to us, whether it’s a flower or a poem or a tree or a cross or these hearts, it’s light to us,” she said. “And we need more light than darkness.”

Smith visited the site with her mother.

“To see that we’re not alone, it makes me want to connect with all the other 57 families and to know that we’re in this journey together,” she said. “This to me is a moment of healing.”


Information from: Las Vegas Review-Journal, http://www.lvrj.com

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