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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 September 2018

Mother of three latest victim in Las Vegas massacre

Candice Bowers, from Tustin, California, was at the front of the stage at the concert with a friend when a gunman opened fire at the crowd from the 32nd floor of a hotel

A man places a candle at a makeshift memorial near the Mandalay Bay hotel on the Las Vegas Strip on October 3, 2017, after a gunman killed 58 people and wounded more than 500 others. Robyn Beck / AFP
A man places a candle at a makeshift memorial near the Mandalay Bay hotel on the Las Vegas Strip on October 3, 2017, after a gunman killed 58 people and wounded more than 500 others. Robyn Beck / AFP

A single mother of three is one of the latest victims to be named in the Las Vegas massacre, in which more than 50 people were killed.

Candice Bowers, from Tustin, California, was at the front of the stage at the concert with a friend when a gunman opened fire at the crowd from the 32nd floor of a hotel.

“They wanted to get to the front of the venue because they wanted to see the performer that was coming on, Jason Aldean," said, Christi Bowin, a friend of Bowers.

Ms Bowin, 48, had been at the Route 91 Harvest Festival with two of her friends, including Bowers, but left the venue at 8pm before the shooting began. Ms Bowin's other friend, who wished to remain anonymous, was also caught up in Sunday’s shooting.

“They were up there and they heard the shots fired and hid under a partition. They were hiding behind that and then started to see bodies falling on top of them," said Ms Bowin. "The friend told Candice that they were going to die and that she loved her."

"Candice stayed there and the other friend ran. She got in a car with somebody and managed to get out of there.”

Bowers, however, was shot.

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"I don’t know if Candice managed to make a break for it. I don’t know if she ever made it to the hospital or if she died at the scene,” said Ms Bowin. “We didn’t find out until last night at about 10pm.

"We were looking for her, we called all the numbers and everything else. Then a family member went to the morgue and identified her.”

Bowers, who worked at a cafe in Tustin, was described by her friend as a "very independent and a strong-willed woman".

She leaves behind a 19-year-old son, 16-year-old daughter, and a two-year-old girl, who she adopted from her cousin.

“She would do anything for anybody, she was always the first one to help anybody in need, anybody who was hurt," said Ms Bowin. “If anybody needed a place to stay or somebody to talk to, she would always be the first one there."

She added that Bowers would be remembered for "her generosity and her love, her willingness to help everybody”.

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