NOVATO, Calif. – This is a police officer’s tragic tale of his wife’s death in the Las Vegas massacre.
The wife of a San Francisco police officer is among the 59 victims who died during the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history, according to her brother-in-law.
“It’s with a heavy heart and deep sorrow, Stacee Etcheber has passed away,” Al Etcheber wrote on Facebook. Tuesday morning before 6 a.m. “Please pray for our family during this difficult time. She leaves behind two adoring beautiful children and an amazing husband. Thank you to everyone for all the support in this past few days. We will dearly miss you……”
“Yeah, we’re angry… we’re devastated, we’re frustrated, this was a senseless act,” said Etcheber, who spoke to a group of reporters in Novato, just a few blocks from San Ramon Elementary School where one of the Etcheber’s children attends school and a candlelight vigil will be held tonight at 7 o’clock. He was surrounded by officers from SFPD’s Northern Station where Vinnie works, reported KTVU.
“To Alivia and Vinnie, um you know we love you very much,” said Al, his voice quivering. “Your dad loves you very much.”
Stacee Etcheber, 50, had been at the country music festival Sunday night with her husband, Vinnie Etcheber. He is a 22-year San Francisco police veteran. The Etcheber’s attended the festival with another couple when gunfire erupted outside the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
During the chaos, which saw gunman Stephen Paddock killed 59 people and injured more than 500, Vinnie Etcheber jumped into action. He started to care for wounded victims, Al Etcheber told KTVU on Monday.
— taramoriarty (@taramoriarty1) October 3, 2017
Off-Duty Officer Helps Victims While Wife Is Murdered
Vinnie Etcheber told his wife, Stacee, a Novato hairdresser and mother of two, to run. Tragically, that’s the last he saw of his wife.
After he helped get some of the injured to the hospital in the back of a pickup truck, he circled back to find his wife of 13 years. Yet what he found was a taped off crime scene.
“His description of the barrage of shots was unbelievable,” said Al, who explained that Vinnie thought his wife was safe. Vinnie told Stacee and their friends to hide behind a metal barricade initially and then run for it, while he helped load gunshot victims into trucks headed to the hospital.
Later, when he returned to the scene, he couldn’t find her. Stacee had left her cell phone in the time share in which they were staying. Moreover, her ID was not on her.
Vinnie called his brother Al who hopped in a car with three SFPD officers and drove down to Las Vegas from the Bay Area.
Thinking Stacee could possibly be a Jane Doe in a hospital, he searched floor by floor for four solid hours.
“We circled around and circled around and we just had the sixth sense that you know, that the last stop was the coroner’s office and that’s where we found her,” said Al, sadly.
Stacee did not make it out of the concert alive.
“It will be a tough road ahead for the entire Etcheber family and the POA and the SFPD will be behind them the entire way as they struggle to make sense of this,” said Martin Halloran, President of the SF Police Officers’ Association. They described her as a “wonderful caring wife, mother and daughter. She will be terribly missed.”
In Memoriam Stacee Etcheber
Her Facebook page shows her with a wide open smile, skiing, horseback riding and attending San Francisco Giants games with her family and friends.
Finally, people have begun to place flowers at the salon where Stacee worked as a hairstylist. The growing memorial is solemn evidence of devastating pain for so many.
“She’s very fiery. She drives a truck, she drives the boat, you know, she pulls the horse trailer, she’s a cowgirl, you know, and… we’re gonna miss her,” said Al.
(Photo: Screenshot KTVU news broadcast)