As America continues to grapple with the horror that unfolded on Sunday night, the identities of the victims of the Las Vegas shooting are slowly becoming public. Among those who were killed was Stacee Etcheber, the wife of San Francisco police officer Vinnie Etcheber. At least 59 people were killed and more than 500 were wounded on Sunday night when a gunman officially identified as Stephen Paddock opened a terrifying rainfire of bullets on some 22,000 attendees at a country concert. The terror unfolded while singer Jason Aldean was performing on stage as Paddock opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
By remembering what Etcheber was like, we help to bring necessary light to the innocent victims of such senseless violence. The wife of the SFPD officer was remembered in loving and warm words by her brother-in-law and friends. Even strangers who knew her in passing saw kindness in Etcheber's deeds.
While speaking with San Francisco Gate, Bob Sewall said that Etcheber was a "good Samaritan" after he recalled an incident that involved her. Sewall knew Etcheber due to the location of both people's workplaces; Etcheber was a hair stylist and she worked above Sewall's office in Novato.
According to Sewall, he was biking through on Indian Valley Road when he saw an elderly woman lying on the side of the road in an injured state. Sewall learned that the woman had hurt herself after trying to get her mail. He went inside her house to retrieve a cloth for her wound from her disabled husband but he returned, he saw Etcheber already there. Sewall said Etcheber was taking care of the woman. She had apparently stopped her car and gotten out to help. "She had been driving by and was just being a good Samaritan. It just shows she had compassion," Sewall said.
Etcheber's brother-in-law spoke with the press today and described his late sister-in-law in moving words. According to him, Etcheber was a big fan of horses and owned a stable a block away from her home. Etcheber, who is survived by her husband and two young children, shared her horses with her kids and enjoyed outdoor activities. "She was a vivacious, tough-as-a-nail person, someone that just never gave up," Al Etcheber said.
According to Etcheber's brother-in-law, she and her husband were attending Sunday night's concert together until Paddock opened fire on the concert-goers. Her brother-in-law said that her husband was attempting to help people from the bullets and had apparently told her to go find shelter but that she decided to stay back and help others. In the commotion that ensued, both husband and wife were separated from each other.
"Stacee probably came back and helped other victims," he said. "Right at the scene of where they were at, there were victims who were shot and went down. My brother and a fellow fireman of his helped them right away." Etcheber's husband was miraculously uninjured but "pretty shaken up" according to his brother in a statement to the media.
A brief skimming through Etcheber's social media presence on Facebook indicates that the mother of two was a lively, vibrant, and active human being. In some photos, she can be seen playing with other people and in other images, you can see her riding a horse in a field. It is clear, from both her brother-in-law's words and her own photos, that Etcheber had a zest for life.
"Stacee was a charismatic person," her brother-in-law said, "Her spirit will be missed dearly."