The Novato community, family and friends are mourning the death of Stacee Etcheber, a mother of two and local hairdresser who was among the victims of the Las Vegas concert shooting Sunday that killed dozens and injured hundreds.
At a press conference in Novato on Tuesday, brother-in-law Al Etcheber described her as a charismatic, passionate, loving mother and wife who rode horses, loved the outdoors and was involved with her children’s sports teams. He called her “vivacious.”
“We are truly going to miss her,” he said. When asked if the family is angry, he responded, “Yeah, we’re angry, we are devastated, we are frustrated. This was a senseless act.”
A candlelight vigil was held for her Tuesday night at San Ramon Elementary School in Novato.
In a Facebook post Tuesday morning, Al identified Stacee, 50, as one of the 59 people killed in the shooting during the Route 91 Harvest Festival outside the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
Vinnie Etcheber, Stacee’s husband, is a San Francisco police officer, and the press conference was held in coordination with the San Francisco Police Officers Association, which is supporting the family with a GoFundMe.com fundraiser, said Martin Halloran, president of the association.
“It is with heavy hearts that we report the passing of Stacee Etcheber,” Halloran said. “Stacee was a wonderful, caring wife, mother and daughter. The Etcheber family is devastated by this horrific, senseless act but they offer their sincere thanks to all who have reached out and offered their condolences and heartfelt sympathy to the family. ...
“It will be a tough road ahead for the entire Etcheber family and the Police Officers Association and the San Francisco Police Department will be behind them the entire way as they struggle to make sense of this.”
Members of the police association and Vinnie Etcheber’s colleagues were present Tuesday to support the family and embraced Al Etcheber after his comments.Co-workers mourn
Stacee worked at the Ciao Bella Salon in downtown Novato, which posted a message on its Facebook page:
“The Ciao Bella Salon family is in deep mourning over the loss of our beloved friend, Stacee Etcheber. She made the salon shine with her joyful personality and strength of character. Ciao Bella will not be the same without her. She was a friend to all and an adoring mother. We ask that we please be left to grieve in private, alongside her family who we send our sincerest condolences to. Stacee, we will miss you every day.”
Stacee Etcheber was known by her maiden name, Stacee Rodrigues, in Chico where she lived for years and was owner of Dimensions Salon in the 1990s, according to good friend Lynda Balken of Chico.
Balken said Stacee came to Chico to attend Chico State University, but also attended Chico Beauty College. She last saw her friend over the summer.
“She was one of the strongest women I know. She was funny and she was fun. She had a great laugh, and was a really good person,” Balken said.
Vinnie and Stacee had been married 13 years. Balken said they would have celebrated their wedding anniversary on Oct. 18.
Chico business owner Debbie LaPlant Moseley of Paradise remembered Stacee, too, calling her a friend of at least 20 years.
“She did my hair for my wedding,” Moseley said Tuesday. “She lit up a room. She wasn’t loud and boisterous. She was very sparkling, with a twinkle in her eye. She had a huge heart.”Marin responds
Marin community came together and showed support with posts on Facebook and other social media sites. The school district and City Council released statements as well.
An email was sent to the Novato Unified School District community at Tuesday morning from Superintendent Jim Hogeboom, San Ramon Elementary School Principal Amanda Langford and Sinaloa Middle School Principal Jim Larson offering condolences to the Etcheber family and friends.
“Our hearts go out to Stacee’s husband and their two children who attend San Ramon Elementary and Sinaloa Middle School, as well as to all the other victims and their loved ones,” the email reads. “This is a time when we will come together and model compassion, support, and unity in our community. ...
“Tragedies like these have a tremendous impact on each of our lives and leave us shaken and questioning where we can truly be safe. There are no easy answers to that question. But if we all strive to create a more loving world where violence is never accepted and where we always try to find peaceful resolution to our problems, maybe we can move past this kind of incident and create a better place for our children.”
The Novato City Council sent out an email asking the Novato community to support the victims and families affected by the shooting.
“As a community, we offer our particular condolences to the family and friends of Novato resident Stacee Etcheber, whose life was taken in this tragic event,” the statement said. “We hope the knowledge that the Novato community grieves with them provides a measure of comfort to the Etcheber family.”Gunfire breaks out
After a gunman opened fire on the outdoor concert crowd in Las Vegas Sunday night, Vinnie Etcheber told his wife and their two friends to run, while he stayed behind tending to wounded victims.
Vinnie spent Monday desperately trying to find his wife who was separated in the pandemonium.
Vinnie, 48, took care of a victim who was shot in front of them. He also rushed another gunshot victim to a car to be taken to the hospital, said brother Al Etcheber.
Vinnie Etcheber was carrying Stacee’s ID, and she left her cellphone in their room, a time-share two miles away that was loaned to them by a friend.
Al Etcheber said after checking in with all the hospitals in the area, Monday night they knew the only place left to check was the Clark County coroner’s office, which is where they found her.
The cause of death has not been disclosed, pending examination by the medical examiner. The circumstances of her death are not known, Al Etcheber said.
Al said that his brother went to the aid of others without hesitation.
“I just want to let him know, he did the right thing,” Al said.
Al said the focus now is on their children and celebrating Stacee’s life.
“We want to be able to carry on (Stacee’s) legacy through her children ... and make sure she’s not forgotten,” Al said.
In addition to her husband, Stacee Etcheber is survived by her children, Alivia, 13, and Vinnie, 10.
To donate to the Etcheber family fund, go to gofundme.com/etcheber-family-fund.
The Chico Enterprise Record contributed to this report.