He 'Saved My Life and Lost His': Stories of Las Vegas Shooting Victims Emerge - NBC Bay Area
Las Vegas Massacre

Las Vegas Massacre

Coverage of the Las Vegas concert attack, the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history

He 'Saved My Life and Lost His': Stories of Las Vegas Shooting Victims Emerge

They traveled to Las Vegas to see their favorite stars, posting videos and photos to social media. At least 58 of them never made it home

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    NEWSLETTERS

    After the mass shooting at a country music concert that left scores dead and hundreds injured in Las Vegas, stories of heroism have come to light.

    (Published Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017)

    They were school teachers and youth football coaches, real estate agents and local business owners.

    They were parents, siblings, husbands, wives, neighbors and friends.

    They traveled to Las Vegas to see their favorite stars, posting videos and photos to social media.

    At least 58 of them never made it home after a gunman opened fire from the 32nd floor of a Las Vegas hotel onto a crowd of more than 22,000 below at the country music Route 91 Harvest Festival.

    Details are emerging about the lives of those who died, as well as countless more who were injured. Friends waited for text messages that never came, families learned the worst from hospitals and local authorities. Many have launched fundraising campaigns for the children and families left behind, while others have vowed to start scholarship funds in their loved ones' names.

    'I HAVE NOTHING BUT GOOD MEMORIES OF MY MOM'
    As Jeff Rees thinks about his mom, Denise Cohen, one thing keeps repeating in his head: Her laugh.

    "When she would take me to the movies as a kid, I was just waiting to hear her laugh because it would just crack me up," Rees said.

    Cohen, 58, and her boyfriend Derrick "Bo" Taylor, 56, both died at the Las Vegas concert. Taylor was a lieutenant in the California Department of Correction and Rehabilitation. He worked as a commander at the Ventura Conservation Camp, which houses inmates that help California fight wildfires.

    Rees met Taylor last year when he traveled to California to visit his mother. The two had dated on and off for several years.

    Cohen was a woman who lived life to the fullest and made everyone around her feel their best, Rees said.

    How ‘Bump Stocks’ Work

    [NATL] How ‘Bump Stocks’ Work

    Las Vegas Shooter Stephen Paddock had at least 12 “bump stocks” attached to his guns, which allowed him to fire his weapons at a machine gun-like rate. Lawmakers are now pushing for them to be banned. Here is how these devices work.

    (Published Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017)

    "I feel sorry for all of the people in the world who never got a chance to meet her," he said.

    HUSBAND PROTECTED WIFE ON ANNIVERSARY, 'JUST AS HE'D ALWAYS DONE'
    Laurie Beaton was at the festival with her husband Jack celebrating their 23rd wedding anniversary when they heard what sounded like firecrackers. Like everyone around her, she was looking around to see who was lighting them when she felt something like air rush past her arm.

    "I've never experienced gunshots but when I felt air go right past my arm I told my husband, 'I don't think that's fireworks,'" she said in a telephone interview from her home in Bakersfield, California.

    "He told me, 'Get down, get down, get down,'" and put his own body on top of hers for protection, she said. "He told me, 'I love you, Laurie' and his arms were around me and his body just went heavy on me."

    Suddenly, she knew her husband had been shot. "I screamed his name and he wasn't answering me, there was a lot of blood," she said.

    Another man, someone who told her he was a nurse and an EMT, ran up and told her to put her husband on his side. Helping, she saw blood and heard her husband struggling to breathe.

    Las Vegas Massacre Investigation Takes New Direction

    [NATL] Las Vegas Massacre Investigation Takes New Direction

    Authorities investigating the Las Vegas mass shooting are now reconstructing the movements of Stephen Paddock and exploring the possibility he had considered other music festivals or large events before he chose Las Vegas. 

    (Published Friday, Oct. 6, 2017)

    As quickly as the shooting stopped it started again and now, with lights on, the man told one of the husband's friends who attended the festival with them to take the women to safety.

    "So we ran," she said.

    Later, friends told Laurie Beaton her husband wasn't on the ground anymore. "He had been moved so we were optimistic that he'd received help,' she said.

    Calls to hospitals in search of Jack Beaton turned up nothing. Eventually, she called the coroner's office, which said her husband was among the dead.

    On Tuesday morning she was back home, trying both to comfort a 20-year-old son and an 18-year-old daughter who had just lost their father and be comforted by them.

    Beaton said her husband, a 54-year-old construction worker, wouldn't want much said publicly about his death. But she wanted people to hear how he had protected her, just as he always had done.

    "I knew every day that he would protect me and take care of me and love me unconditionally, and what he did is no surprise to me, and he is my hero," she said.

    STUDENTS MOURN LOSS OF BELOVED TEACHER
    Kelsey Meadows, 28, loved children so she returned to her small hometown of Taft, in the eastern part of California, to teach at her alma mater, Taft Union High School, after earning her degree. Meadows was a regular substitute teacher at the school.

    "Kelsey was smart, compassionate and kind. She had a sweet spirit and a love for children," Taft Union High School principal, Mary Alice Finn, said in a statement. "Words cannot adequately capture the sorrow felt by her students, colleagues and friends in learning of her passing."

    The school district said grief counselors were being made available to students and staff to "assist in coping with the incomprehensible loss."

    Her brother, Brad Meadows, posted on his Facebook page that his sister had not been heard from since going to the music festival in Las Vegas. The California firefighter thanked everyone for helping them try to find her.

    "So it is with an absolutely shattered heart that I let everyone know that Kelsey did not survive this tragic event," Meadows posted Tuesday. "Please keep my family in your thoughts and prayers as we try and move past this horrible time."

    Man Gives Up Guns in Wake of Las Vegas Shooting

    [NATL] Man Gives Up Guns in Wake of Las Vegas Shooting

    A Facebook photo of a Phoenix, Arizona, man voluntarily giving up his guns to a uniformed Phoenix police officer has gone viral. Jonathan Pring said his post attracted both praise and death threats after he gave up his guns in wake of the Las Vegas shooting that killed 58 people. 

    (Published Friday, Oct. 6, 2017)

    CALIFORNIA WOMAN REMEMBERED AS 'THE PERKY ONE'
    A one-time high school cheerleader who loved country music, Bailey Schweitzer of Bakersfield, California, went to the festival to see some of her favorite acts. 

    A day after the 20-year-old's death, co-workers at the software company where she worked held a vigil. Friends and colleagues gazed at white candles lit in her memory Monday night. 

    "No one could possibly have a bad day when Bailey was around," said a statement by Fred Brakeman, chief executive officer of Infinity Communications and Consulting, Inc., where Schweitzer was a receptionist. 

    "If you have ever called or visited our office, she was the perky one that helped direct you to the staff member you needed," he said. 

    Schweitzer graduated in 2015 from Centennial High School, where she was a member of the cheerleading squad. On social media she often posted photos from Bakersfield Speedway, a dirt auto-racing track that her family owns.

    'EVERYBODY STARTED RUNNING FOR COVER AND THE GUY KEPT SHOOTING'
    Thomas Day Jr. was a big country music fan, so there was no doubt he'd go to the festival, and that he'd take his whole family with him. 

    Vegas Shooting Victims Had Families, Friends and Dreams

    [NATL] Vegas Shooting Victims Had Families, Friends and Dreams
    The stories of the victims of Sunday's massacre in Las Vegas are as diverse as America itself, 58 people, all with friends and families and jobs and dreams. Those who knew them are choosing to remember not how they left this world, but what they did in their all-too-short time in it. 

     

    (Published Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017)

    Day, 54, of Corona, California, was killed in the shooting.

    "He was just a fun-loving boy, a great family man who loved to spend time with his family," said Thomas Day Sr. who spoke on the phone, surrounded by his son's four grown children at his Las Vegas area home. 

    The elder Day, who lives near Las Vegas, said he was at home Sunday night when he received a frantic telephone call from his grandson and a granddaughter. 

    "They were standing right there and they said he and another young man there both took a bullet in the head," said Day, 75. "Everybody started running for cover and the guy kept shooting." 

    Day said none of his grandchildren were struck by bullets, but his son was. A friend rushed Thomas Day Jr. to a hospital but there was nothing doctors could do. 

    Struggling to speak, Day said his son loved his three daughters and son and his two grandchildren. The whole group jumped at the chance to drive to Las Vegas for the show. 

    Motive of Las Vegas Shooter Still a Mystery

    [NATL] Motive of Las Vegas Shooter Still a Mystery

    Law enforcement and family members still cannot explain what would motivate a one-time accountant with no known criminal record to carry out the attack that left 59 dead and wounded more than 500 others. NBC's Sarah Dallof reports.

    (Published Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017)

    "We always had fun together," he said.

    A GRUELING SEARCH FOR A MISSING WOMAN, AND THEN THE WORST
    Stacee Etcheber of Novato, California, was listed as missing for hours before her family found got the worst possible news: The mother of two was dead. 

    At the concert, her husband told her to hide, then to run, as he helped a concertgoer next to him who had been shot, said Al Etcheber, her brother-in-law. 

    Her husband, Vincent Etcheber, is a San Francisco police officer, and his training kicked in immediately when shots rang out, Al Etcheber said. 

    He told Stacee and the couple's three friends to protect themselves behind a nearby barrier. Then he told them to run, just before the second round of shots rang out, Al Etcheber said. 

    He had not heard from Stacee since, and she was not carrying an ID. 

    Video Shows Vegas Gunman's Girlfriend Back in US

    [NATL-LA] Gunman's Girlfriend Arrives at LAX

    Marilou Danley, the girlfriend of the Las Vegas gunman and a person of interest in the investigation, arrived back in the U.S. at the Los Angeles International Airport Tuesday night, Oct. 3, 2017. Adrian Arambulo reports for the NBC4 News at 11.

    (Published Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017)

    "It's been a grueling 15 hours with no information," Al Etcheber said Monday. On Tuesday morning, he posted on Facebook that the worst fears had been realized — she was dead. 

    Stacee, 50, worked as a hairdresser. Al Etcheber called her a loving wife and great mother who was "tough as nails and just the salt of the earth."

    NEVADA OUTDOORSMAN KNOWN FOR LAUGH, SMILE
    Quinton Robbins was the big brother who coached his little brother's flag football team, the prom king who was nice to everyone regardless of their high school social standing, an outdoorsman who loved to fish and boat around the lake. 

    "The kid was loved by everyone," said Mike Wells, Robbins' uncle who is serving as a spokesman for the family. "He was popular in high school, but would walk up to the kid who wasn't so popular and befriend him and make him feel good." 

    Robbins, 20, died Sunday, likely moments after a bullet struck his chest and left his body through his lower back. He was up on his knees, looking for a spot to take his girlfriend for shelter, Wells said, recounting Robbins' girlfriend's account of the terrifying moments. "I think I got shot," Robbins looked at her and said before collapsing. 

    "He died probably within seconds after the bullet hit him," Wells said. 

    Robbins leaves behind a younger brother and sister, who adored him, as well as his parents, Wells said. His parents sat beside Robbins, who had already died, until about 5 or 6 in the morning, Wells said, before rushing home to make sure they could tell his 11-year-old brother the news themselves. 

    Robbins worked for the athletic department in his home city of Henderson, Nevada. 

    "The positive impact he had on everyone was huge," Wells said.

    'I CAN HEAR HER LAUGH ... RIGHT NOW'
    Neysa Tonks' employer remembered her as a "great mother, colleague and friend." 

    The 46-year-old mother of three boys worked for the Las Vegas office of Technologent Inc., which offers technology solutions to companies. She was killed in the shooting rampage at the concert. 

    "Neysa has brought so much joy, fun and laughter to Technologent — she will be greatly missed by all!" said a statement posted by the California-based company. 

    Footage Shows Vegas Gunman's Room in 2016

    [NATL] Footage Shows Vegas Gunman's Room in 2016

    Amateur video footage has emerged showing the room at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas from where Stephen Paddock rained down bullets onto a concert crowd on Sunday evening, killing 58 people. 

    Jeff Bridges and his partner, who were guests at the hotel in January last year, stayed in the same room where Paddock launched his attack - room 32-135.

    During his stay, Bridges filmed the room and the view from the windows, which included the concert venue; identical to the view that Paddock had of the venue on Sunday evening.

    (Published Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017)

    The company has set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds to help her family. 

    Tonks grew up in Utah. Her brother, AJ Yerage, told the CBS affiliate in Salt Lake City that he felt "lucky" that Tonks was a part of his life and that she loved making jokes. 

    "I can hear her laugh, her voice in my head and my heart right now," Yerage told KUTV.

    WRESTLING COACH SLAIN, TEAM HELPING RAISE MONEY FOR SURVIVORS
    Members of the Shippensburg Greyhound Wrestling team in southern Pennsylvania are raising money to help the family of coach Bill Wolfe, who is among the dead in Las Vegas. 

    A gofundme page established to accept donations for Wolfe's family quickly exceeded its goal of $10,000 after being shared hundreds of times on social media, and team booster club said it also was accepting checks to help with family with unexpected expenses. 

    Wolfe initially was listed as missing Monday until his death later was confirmed. 

    As Las Vegas Grieves, Details on Shooter's Weapons Emerge

    [NATL] As Las Vegas Grieves, Details on Shooter's Weapons Emerge

    Investigators say they found 23 firearms in the Mandalay Bay hotel room of Las Vegas shooter Stephen Craig Paddock and 19 firearms at his home in Mesquite, Nevada and are stressing that Paddock was the sole shooter.

    (Published Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017)

    As an engineer, Wolfe spent several years working on major projects for a central Pennsylvania engineering firm. There, a colleague remembered him as being personable, easy to work with and a devoted Christian. Company owner Carl Bert said Wolfe was a close friend and "a class act in every way." 

    The Chambersburg Public Opinion reported that Wolfe and his wife Robyn were celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary in Las Vegas.

    'CHEERFUL YOUNG LADY WITH A WARM HEART'
    Angela "Angie" Gomez died in the shooting, according to a statement from the Riverside Unified School District in California. 

    Gomez graduated from Riverside Poly High School in 2015, where she was a cheerleader. School staff remembered her as a "fun-loving young lady with a great sense of humor." 

    Gomez participated in the Riverside Children's Theater and was involved in choir. The school district said Gomez was a hard worker who "always challenged herself academically." 

    Friend Lupe Avila wrote in a tribute to Gomez online that she was a "cheerful young lady with a warm heart and loving spirit."

    HIGH SCHOOL SWEETHEARTS: ONE SURVIVES, ONE DIES
    Bobby Parks' wife was planning to throw him a 40th birthday party next week before Jenny Parks was killed at the concert, friend Jessica Maddin said.

    The couple were high school sweethearts and they have two children.

    Jenny Parks was a kindergarten teacher for the Lancaster School District in California.

    Maddin met Parks while working at 24 Hour Fitness.

    Later Parks would help Maddin who started a group, Jessica's Hope Project, that provides care packages to troops.

    Maddin now is trying to raise funds for her friend, Bobby Parks, on a GoFundMe page. Bobby Parks was shot in the arm and hand and is awaiting surgery, Maddin said.

    "It breaks my heart," Maddin said. "People go to concerts to have a good time, connect with others and escape the tragedies of this world."

    VETERAN REMEMBERED AS JOVIAL, HARD WORKING
    Christopher Roybal, 28, was described as jovial and fun-loving, despite experiencing intense combat during four tours in the Middle East.

    "He is a guy that could always put a smile on your face ... after all the stuff he had been through," said David Harman, who founded a company that owns the Colorado gym where Roybal worked.

    Roybal, 28, worked at Crunch Fitness in Corona and Riverside, California, before he moved at the beginning of the year to help open franchises in Colorado Springs.

    "As far as responsibility and discipline and work ethic, there wasn't any question about him coming on board with us," said Harman, who has known Roybal for about 4 ½ years. "He was a good hard worker, a grinder."

    "He was the guy who if your car broke down in the middle of the night, you could call him and he would come help you," Harman added. "He is that guy who would find solutions, not report on problems."

    Harman said Roybal served in Afghanistan and was coping with the loss of a friend who was killed by an improvised explosive device. Roybal adopted his friend's bomb-sniffing dog, Bella, but was devastated when she died of old age.

    "That dog saved his life quite a few times," Harman said.

    Roybal mentioned the dog in a July 18 Facebook post that also included a lengthy description of his experience getting shot at in combat.

    He ends the post: "What's it like to be shot at? It's a nightmare no amount of drugs, no amount of therapy and no amount of drunk talks with your war veteran buddies will ever be able to escape. Cheers boys."

    ALASKA WOMAN WAS LOCAL HOCKEY FAN
    Dorene Anderson was the second person from Anchorage, Alaska, confirmed killed in the mass shooting, her husband's employer said Monday.

    Anderson's husband, John, works for the Alaska Housing Finance Corp. The CEO of that organization sent an email to employees Monday informing them that Dorene had been killed.

    Anderson described herself on her Facebook page as a stay-at-home wife and mother whose outside interest was a passion for the Alaska Aces, a minor league hockey team that recently disbanded and was sold to the parent company of the NHL's Philadelphia Flyers. She had been a member of the Aces' "Cowbell Crew."

    Stacy Shubert, the director of governmental relations and public affairs for the corporation, told The Associated Press that the family has requested privacy.

    OFF-DUTY OFFICER COACHED KIDS, WAS RESPECTED LEADER
    Off-duty Las Vegas police officer and youth football coach Charleston Hartfield was among those killed, two of his friends said.

    Hartfield, 34, was known as a selfless, respected leader who brought out the best in his players, said Stan King, whose son played football for Hartfield.

    Troy Rhett, another friend of Hartfield's through football, said he knew from social media that Hartfield was attending the concert. When he heard about the shooting, he texted him, hoping to learn Hartfield was safe. He never heard back, and Rhett said he learned through another friend Monday morning that Hartfield had died.

    Hartfield, who also went by "Chuck" or "Charles" or even "Chucky Hart," was also a military veteran and leaves behind a son and a daughter, Rhett said.

    Hartfield is also listed at author of a book titled "Memoirs of Public Servant" about his time as a Las Vegas police officer.

    ALASKA FISHERMAN HAD A HEARTY LAUGH
    Commercial fisherman Adrian Murfitt, 35, of Anchorage, Alaska, was also among the slain, a family member said Monday.

    His sister, Shannon Gothard, said the family heard from one of Murfitt's friends who was with him when he died, though they haven't received official confirmation about his death.

    Asked if the family was holding out hope that he made it after all, she said, "No. No."

    Gothard described her brother as a man with a hearty laugh and a former competitive hockey player who still dabbled in the game. "His whole life was always around hockey," she said.

    After graduating from high school, he became a fisherman, picking up odd jobs in the offseason.

    He had just come off an extremely successful fishing season when he made the trip to Las Vegas with some good friends, Gothard said.

    Her brother "was happy to pay some things off and had made some really good money and decided to go out and celebrate and go to the concert and treat himself to something nice and fun," she said.

    NEWS FELT 'LIKE AN ATOMIC BOMB WENT OFF IN MY HEART'
    Jennifer Topaz Irvine, a 42-year-old San Diego lawyer, was "bright, brilliant and could talk to millennials," her publicist Jay Jones said.

    When Jones heard that Irvine was among those killed, he said it was "like an atomic bomb went off in my heart. I just got punched dead in the gut."

    WEST VIRGINIA WOMAN DIED IN HUSBAND'S ARMS
    While the sun was still shining Sunday at the festival, Denise Burditus posted a photo on Facebook of herself and her husband standing in front of the stage, smiling broadly.

    Later, after news of the massacre spread, a friend asked simply: "Are you two ok????"

    Burditus never replied.

    MetroNews, a West Virginia-based radio network, reported that Tony Burditus wrote on his Facebook page that his wife was among the victims.

    "It saddens me to say that I lost my wife of 32 years, a mother of two, soon to be grandmother of five this evening in the Las Vegas shooting," Tony Burditus wrote. "Denise passed in my arms. I LOVE YOU BABE."

    Denise Burditus' Facebook page includes a photo of her and her husband at the same festival last year. Mandalay Bay is shown in the background.

    KIND-HEARTED NURSE PROTECTED WIFE
    Sonny Melton, a registered nurse, died in the shooting, according to The Henry County Medical Center in Paris, Tennessee, where he worked.

    His wife, Dr. Heather Melton, an orthopedic surgeon who was with him when shots were fired, survived, the medical center said.

    Heather Melton told WZTV in Nashville, Tennessee, that her husband "saved my life and lost his." She says her husband was the most kind-hearted, loving man she ever met.

    Friend Jeremy Butler told the Paris (Tennessee) Post-Intelligencer that Melton was shielding Heather Melton from gunfire when he was fatally shot.

    HIGH SCHOOL SECRETARY REMEMBERED AS LOVING, SINCERE

    Lisa Romero-Muniz, a high school secretary from Gallup, New Mexico, was an "incredible loving and sincere friend, mentor and advocate for students," the Gallup-McKinley County Public Schools interim superintendent said Monday.

    District officials confirmed to reporters on Monday that Romero, 48, died sometime after the shooting began.

    "Last night during the mass shooting in Las Vegas we lost one of our staff members," interim superintendent Mike Hyatt wrote to employees. "Lisa Romero, discipline secretary at Miyamura (High School), was a victim in the shooting. Our prayers go out to her family during this tragic time."

    Survivors included Romero-Muniz's husband, children and grandchildren, Hyatt said. Officials announced a candlelight vigil in honor of Romero-Muniz set for Monday night.

    CANADIAN MOTHER, MECHANIC'S APPRENTICE AMONG THOSE KILLED
    Three Canadians — a mother of four, a restaurant manager, and a man just days from his 24th birthday — were among those killed in the shooting.

    Jessica Klymchuk, of Valleyview, Alberta, Calla Medig, of Jasper Alberta, and Jordan McIldoon, 23, of Maple Ridge, British Columbia, died Sunday night in Las Vegas. 

    Klymchuk, 28, was an educational assistant, librarian and bus driver for St. Stephen's School, said the Holy Family Catholic Regional Division.

    "The scope of this tragedy is worldwide, and we are feeling its impact here at home," the division's superintendent, Betty Turpin, said in a statement.

    A post on Klymchuk's Facebook page says she got engaged in April, and was in Vegas with her fiance.

    British Columbia Premier John Horgan said in a statement that Mclldoon, a mechanic's apprentice, was among those killed.

    "We only had one child," Al and Angela McIldoon, told the CBC. "We just don't know what to do."

    Horgan offered condolences and says flags will be dropped to half-staff on the province's Parliament buildings and on government buildings in Maple Ridge.

    Medig was recently promoted to manager at Moxie's Grill & Bar at a mall, Global News reported. The Royal Canadian Legion in Jasper said on Facebook that Medig was "a beautiful young lady." Her mother said she had attended the festival for the past three years.

    ELEMENTARY STUDENTS REMEMBER 'THE HUB' OF THEIR SCHOOL
    Vista Fundamental Elementary in Simi Valley, California, is large as schools go with 681 kindergarteners through sixth graders and receptionist Susan Smith was in the center of it all. 

    "She's the hub," Simi Valley Unified School District spokeswoman Jake Finch told The Associated Press Tuesday. "She supported the principal, taking care of the many things that happen in the school. She was patient. She was kind, especially with the kids. Even when it was chaotic she would smile." 

    Smith also was very patriotic, Finch added. 

    "Today (Tuesday) everyone at the school is wearing red, white and blue in her honor," Finch said. 

    Smith, 53, of Simi Valley, was an office manager at Vista Elementary for the past three years. She had been with the district since 2001. 

    "She was a big country music fan," said Finch, who added that Smith was with friends at the concert. Those friends contacted Smith's family after the shooting.

    'HE'S OUR ONLY SON': A WISCONSIN FATHER MOURNS
    Steven Berger, of Shorewood, Minnesota, traveled to Las Vegas as he had many times before with his friends, but this time they would celebrate his 44th birthday.

    A fan of country music, Berger and his roommate along with four others were enjoying the Jason Aldean show near the Las Vegas strip when the rain of bullets began.

    Mary Berger, 72, of Brookfield, Wisconsin, said her son's roommate called hours later to tell them Steven had been hit by gunfire and collapsed to the ground.

    "He tried to go to him but they were trying to get people out of the way," Mary Berger said. The roommate wasn't sure where Steven wound up, she added.

    Steven's father, Richard Berger, said the family was notified by the coroner's office in Las Vegas on Tuesday afternoon that he had died.

    "He's our only son," Richard Berger said choking up. "It's terrible. At least now we know. Now we got busy things to do with three grandchildren."

    Mary Berger described her son, a father of three, as fun-loving with a serious side and a hard worker. He played basketball in high school and college before he started his career as a financial adviser after graduating from St. Olaf College in 1995.

    POLICE RECORDS TECHNICIAN 'WILL BE GREATLY MISSED'
    Rachael Parker, a police records technician, was shot and ultimately died in the hospital, the Manhattan Beach Police Department said.

    Parker was among four department employees who were attending the festival while off-duty. Another suffered minor injuries.

    "She was employed with the Manhattan Beach Police Department for 10 years and will be greatly missed," the department said in a statement.

    DISTRICT MOURNS SPECIAL ED TEACHER'S DEATH
    Sandy Casey, a middle school special education teacher living in Redondo Beach, California, was killed in Sunday night's attack, the school district and a relative said.

    "This is unbelievably tragic and sad," Mike Matthews, superintendent of the Manhattan Beach School District, wrote in a Monday morning letter to the district. "This loss is impacting many of our staff members deeply."

    Casey, 35, is an alumna of the College of St. Joseph in Rutland, Vermont, and Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts, said Linda O'Leary, a cousin of Casey's mother who is acting as a family spokeswoman.

    Casey was at the concert with her fiance and a friend, who were not injured, O'Leary said. Most of Casey's extended family lives in Vermont, she said.

    "They're receiving a lot of support and love, the best you can do with an unbelievable tragedy," she said.

    The family is discussing setting up a scholarship in Casey's name.

    A SEARCH FOR MOM, AND THEN HORROR
    Laura Shipp raised her son Corey by herself, then moved to Las Vegas from Thousand Oaks, California, a few years ago to be closer to him. Both were country music fans, and they went to the festival together, said Laura Shipp's mother, Joyce Shipp.

    They were together until just before the gunman opened fire Sunday night.

    "We really don't know what happened, just that she went to the bathroom and nobody saw her after that," Joyce Shipp said of her 50-year-old daughter, a dispatcher at an air conditioner company.

    After her son, a Marine Corps reservist, spent more than a day trying to find out what had happened to Shipp, he was notified she was dead.

    "He's not doing great," Joyce Shipp said of her grandson. "He's just trying to get his arms around all this but he's surrounded by his friends and family. We don't want to leave him alone at this time."

    Associated Press Writers Rachel D'Oro in Anchorage, Alaska; Jay Reeves in Birmingham, Alabama; Julie Watson in San Diego, California; Don Babwin in Chicago; Rob Gillies in Toronto; Mike Balsamo in Los Angeles; Mark Thiessen in Anchorage, Alaska; Jeff Baenen in Minneapolis; and Russell Contreras in Albuquerque, New Mexico contributed to this report. Dearen reported from Gainesville, Florida, and Ronayne reported from Sacramento, California.