"I promised I would take care of the kids": Vegas victim leaves behind devastated family, community

Last Updated Oct 9, 2017 11:28 AM EDT

PALMDALE, CALIF. -- Jennifer Parks lived in Palmdale, California, with her husband and two children. She was killed last week in the Las Vegas massacre.

"We had a great time, we were having an amazing time," said her husband, Bobby Parks. 

For him, there is one picture that is truly worth a thousand words. Taken ten minutes before the chaos, it captures the last happy moment he had with his wife, Jenny Parks.


Parks said he knew something was wrong when "the music stopped. People started panicking and running, just getting down."

Like the wound on his hand that will undoubtedly leave a scar, the images of that night are permanently burned into his memory.

He said his wife "kinda fell on the floor ... she was hit in the head." 

Jenny and Bobby Parks met when she was 5 and he was 9. They've been together for 30 years, married for 17 and have two children.


That's why the thought of leaving her behind, even though he knew she was gone, never crossed his mind.

"I hate to say this, but there was a point where I thought, I'd probably be better off taking a shot as well, and um -- immediately my head went to the children, and I knew she'd be so mad at me, if I wasn't there for the kids," he said. 


News of Jenny Parks' death traveled quickly to the small town of Palmdale, California, where she worked as a kindergarten teacher. Even at 5 years old, students realize that Mrs. Parks will never be coming back to class. 

"I love her and she was the best teacher and I'm sorry," said 5-year-old Shane, one of her students. 

Memorials cover the walls and line the fences of Anaverde Elementary where Shannon Rossall is the assistant principal.

"She was sort of the heartbeat of our school, of our spirit.. So right now all of our hearts our a little bit shattered."


With so many young lives upended by her death, Bobby Parks is focusing on family and holding his children a little tighter every day.

He said he told her before he left her that he "loved her, and I promised I would take care of the kids."

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