Kymberley Suchomel, 28, survived the Las Vegas shooting, only to tragically die a week later in her sleep. Since her death, she has become the focus of rumors centered on posts she may have written on Facebook, allegedly believing that there was more than one shooter at the concert.
Kymberley wasn’t injured during the Las Vegas shooting. She told the VV Daily Press that she was at the concert with friends, and they escaped as the gunman was shooting from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay on October 1. She said:
That was the night that my life, and the lives of my friends, and so many others were changed forever. I might have escaped unharmed, but I know that I’ve been emotionally and mentally scarred for life.”
Kymberley died far too young and suffered far more than a young woman should. Her family and friends are mourning her absence.
1. Kymberley Had Epilepsy and Her Grandmother Thinks the Stress Caused Her Death at Such a Young Age
Kymberley was young and had an exciting life ahead of her. Tragically, she passed away unexpectedly on October 9, just a week after the shooting. Her grandmother, Julie Norton, told VV Daily Press that Kymberley may have died in her sleep after her husband, Mike, left for work at 4:30 a.m.
Kymberley has epilepsy and was often prone to seizures, her grandmother said. She recently had three focal seizures. Her grandmother told the Daily Press:
I believe the stress from the shooting took her life.”
Kymberley also had a pituitary tumor that she was taking medication for.
Understandably, her family has not made an official public announcement about the cause of her death, and an autopsy has not yet been completed. But friends have said that she died from seizures. One friend, Shayla Mckeen, wrote the following:
She had been diagnosed a couple months back with a benign brain tumor, she just was a victim of the Las Vegas shooting but escaped safely. And this morning she never woke up after having a seizure. Her and I have helped each other out in our shops since 2014. I have never met her but we text and talk on Facebook. My heart hurts. Life is unfair and anything can happen at any moment. I’m in complete shock. She definitely didn’t deserve this. No one does. She still had so much life left to live and experience. She has a 4 year old daughter and a husband that she has left behind.
On an auction page set up to support her family on Facebook, one friend wrote:
As far as we know, she passed away from a grand mahl seizure. She was epileptic, prone to seizures and had a brain tumor. We do not know the exact cause of death as the autopsy report has not been finalized. She was not murdered. Foul play was not suspected.
2. She Was Married, Had a Young Daughter, and Suffered Nightmares After the Shooting
Kymberley was married to Michael Suchomel and she had a young daughter, Scarlett. She was only 28 when she died. Her husband proposed to Kymberley in front of hundreds of baseball fans at Adelanto Stadium on September 1, 2012, during a High Desert Mavericks game.
From stories she shared with the Daily Press, it appeared that Kymberley was haunted by the shooting. She said that she feared falling asleep because the sounds of gunfire became louder in her head and she kept imagining seeing “broken and bloody bodies.” On Facebook, she said that sound of her alarm or loud voices made her heart race. When her daughter threw her toys or moved too fast, her heard would race. She said:
It was like we’re all singing with Jason Aldean one minute — then people are dying all around us the next. I can’t get that thought out of my head.”
She told Daily Press that she was at the concert with four friends and credited her survival to friend Ricky Ardito, who told her group to stay low to the ground when he heard the shots. She said they fell to the ground, and then got up running about three different times. When they saw people falling and not getting back up, they had to keep running. At one point, she called her husband and daughter to say a final goodbye. She returned to her family as quickly as possible.
Her last Facebook post showed a pair of cowboy boots with an American flag and the words “Country Strong.”
3. A Fundraiser Has Been Set Up in Her Honor
Kymberley was absolutely adored by everyone who knew her. Her grieving friends have already set up a YouCaring account where friends and loved ones can donate money to help support her family and cover the costs of a funeral, a memorial, food and household items, and time off work for Michael to grieve.
You can donate to the fundraiser here.
At the time of publication, $5,761 had been raised toward a goal of $10,000.
4. Facebook Posts Allegedly from Kym Show That She Believed There Was More than One Shooter
The rumor is that Kymberley gave a detailed eyewitness account on Facebook on October 4, explaining why she believed there was more than one shooter in Las Vegas. She later died in her sleep on October 8.
The posts that people say belonged to her account have not been authenticated, but posts from friends verify that she did write about the shooting. A post shared on the “Auction for Kymberley Suchomel” Facebook group read, in part:
She was not murdered. Foul play was not suspected. Yes she survived the Vegas massacre. Yes she posted about it. Yes, posts were deleted, by her family. Along with her account. To STOP the harassment that they are receiving.
Below are screenshots from the posts allegedly written by Kym. As you read these, remember that the screenshots have not been authenticated as hers. However, several pieces of evidence point to the posts most likely being authentic. First, we do know that she had posts up about the shooting that were later taken down because they had gotten so much attention. Her friend Ricky Ardito was at the concert with her and also survived the shooting. People went to Ardito’s Facebook page and shared archives of her Facebook posts, asking if those posts were really written by her and why they were taken down. Ardito did not say the posts weren’t written by her. Instead, he responded:
Because of unfounded rumors going around about Kymberley’s death that is putting extra unneeded stress on her family, they made her posts private.”
Ardito was with her at the Las Vegas shooting and is one of the people she credited with helping save her life.
In addition, one of the names mentioned in her post (Ardito’s) was also mentioned in a Daily Press interview with Kymberley. The Facebook post also mentions how she saw bodies when she tried to fall asleep, which is similar to what she told the press in an interview. Finally, the Facebook post talks about an experience at Hooters, which Ardito verifies on his own Facebook page.
Here are the archived posts that have Kymberley’s name on them. Alaya Rochelle wrote on Facebook that these posts were archived and later deleted, and she got screenshots of them first.
Here are some highlights from those posts that are being shared online:
We couldn’t hide because they (and I do mean THEY) were chasing us. That exact moment is when I started to really panic… But the gunfire wasn’t stopping the whole time. It wasn’t ceasing. It wasn’t slowing down. And it was directly behind us, following us. Bullets were coming from every direction. Behind us, in front of us, to the side of us. But I know, I just know, that there was someone chasing us. The entire time I felt this way. … I kept looking back expecting to see the gunmen- and I say MEN because there was more than one person. There was more than one gun firing. 100% more than one… The 2nd place I remember going by was Hooters- which is where we met back up with the rest of our small group. We ran toward the entrance…but as we got closer, a stampede of people ran out, terrified. We could only conclude that there was another gunmen inside of that hotel… The story that they are feeding everyone doesn’t add up to our eyewitness accounts. There is something wrong with what they are saying & the evidence seems fake if you ask me… Every single survivor I have talked to also remembers multiple shooters, and at least one from the ground- why aren’t we being taken more seriously? Tons of things don’t add up.”
You can read the entire thing on the Internet archive here.
Police have said multiple times that there was only one shooter, and that reports of shots coming from different directions were likely ricochets and echoes. Police do not yet know the shooter’s motive, and have said there were no signs that he was associated with any particular group or ideology.
It’s important to also note that the rumors circulating that Kymberley might have died from foul play have absolutely no credence. Police have not said they are investigating her death, and friends have said publicly that there is no evidence of foul play. One of her close relatives — her grandmother — stated publicly that her death was likely the tragic result of extreme stress she suffered after the shooting.
If her death was at all connected to the Las Vegas shooting, it was likely due to the stress making her epileptic condition worse. A tragic loss of a young life, far too soon.
Her friend Ardito, however, is being very vocal on Facebook about his beliefs regarding the shooting. He wrote on October 3:
In the aftermath of the shooting due to things reported by the media I had convinced myself that the initial pops were actually gunfire. After reviewing these memories, really thinking about what I saw and heard, and talking to my group, I am convinced that my initial gut instinct was true. The first pops were a string of fire crackers. One of the distinct differences about these pops versus the gunfire that followed is that the sound came from directly on the ground at the venue, and not far from us. Maybe 40 feet. There are additional details I have remembered that I may add in the future. I know this doesn’t agree with the media reporting, but I am 100% convinced the shooter was aided and signaled from inside the venue with these firecrackers.
The next important detail is that once we had passed Hooters hotel things we’re starting to seem a little more calm, if only for a brief moment. This is when we were trying to meet back up with the other two members of our group. We had considered sheltering in Hooters, then all of the sudden there was a massive panic and stampede of people trying to get away from Hooters. We started running again as fast as we could, unsure exactly what the panic was about.
Kym’s alleged Facebook post also talked about the Hooters hotel.
Ardito reiterated these beliefs on October 4:
Cassie Ardito also shared on Facebook about her experience, and not agreeing with the official story:
I will add that although I know I’m called to love everyone if you tell me to “accept the facts given by the media” and “agree to disagree” on what I know I saw and felt (which I have yet to tell fully and publicly) I will tell you to eff off- on social media and in real life I don’t care who you are.
5. Kymberley Was ‘A Bright Light in the World,’ Her Friends Say
Kymberley was an active Lularoe seller and had a large group of people who loved working with her. In fact, they were so devastated by her loss that they set up an auction to help raise funds for her family. The auction is over and isn’t currently accepting any new members.
Kymberley’s friends have been posting beautiful, heartfelt memories about her. One friend wrote on Facebook, “Kimberley was a bright light in this world, & I will miss hustling LuLaRoe beside her.”
Another friend, Megan McDermott, wrote on Facebook:
She was kind and had a beautiful heart. We exchanged texts, snap chats, business talk, and she even supported my shop by placing her sweet daughter Scarlett in my Headbands. Kym had recently left the small shop world earlier this year and focused on Lularoe and her Foundation in which she Co- founded. Kym was in the center of the horrific Vegas shooting. She escaped unharmed. Her posts this past week here on Facebook we’re about her experiences and her emotions toward it.
Kymberley was close to her family. She and her grandmother created the Phoenix Foundation about 10 years ago, after two family friends were murdered in an abandoned military bunker, Daily Press reported. The foundation was designed to help High Desert residents who experienced tragedies, providing financial support and other services. In 2011, Kymberley’s grandmother Julie Norton was named Woman of the Year.
Please do not attempt to contact Suchomel’s family with questions. They have publicly requested privacy.
We will update this story if additional information is available.