A Manhattan Beach Middle School teacher was among those killed Sunday at a country music festival on the Las Vegas Strip, the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.
Sandy Casey, a special-education teacher, was with a group of Manhattan Beach Unified teachers and staff members who attended the three-day Route 91 Harvest Festival over the weekend.
Just after 10 p.m. Sunday, a gunman on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino opened automatic fire on the crowd of 22,000 concertgoers during a performance by country music star Jason Aldean.
At least 58 people were killed and more than 500 were injured in the attack, officials said. The shooter, 64-year-old Stephen Craig Paddock, of Mesquite, Nevada, reportedly killed himself before a SWAT team stormed his hotel room.
Manhattan Beach Unified officials shared the news of Casey’s death in message to parents Monday morning.
According to the email, Manhattan Beach Middle School Principal Kim Linz, teacher Debbie Dreiling, school psychologists Marjorie Questin and Emily Allen, Mira Costa High School instructional assistant Chris Willemse and Pennekamp Elementary School Principal Karina Gerger were unharmed.
“However, we have received information that one of our MBMS Special Education teachers, Sandy Casey (formerly Sandy McDermott), was fatally wounded. This is unbelievably sad and tragic,” Superintendent Mike Matthews wrote.
“We wanted to let you know so that you can be prepared to support your children and to help them process this information,” he continued. “As you can imagine, this loss is impacting many of our staff members deeply, and while we collectively grieve, we will be working to provide support to everyone affected.”
Matthews visited the Manhattan Beach Middle School campus Monday morning.
“We are asking third-period teachers to share the news with their classes so that we can be sure that all students hear information from an adult rather than through the rumor mill,” Matthews wrote. “We have mobilized counselors who will be on campus throughout the day today and over the coming days to provide support for students, teachers, and parents. Teachers will monitor and work with students to ensure they are connected to those resources as needed.”