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Two Cal High alums killed in Vegas shooting

Friends and family: Etcheber, Cohen will be sorely missed

Two California High School alumni were among those killed in Sunday night's mass shooting at a country music festival in Las Vegas.

Flowers were sitting in front of an existing memorial plaque at San Ramon's Cal High on Tuesday in remembrance of Stacee Rodrigues Etcheber from the class of 1985 and Denise Cohen from the class of 1977.

Etcheber, a Novato resident, and Cohen, who lived in Southern California, were among the 59 people killed after a gunman opened fire on the crowd of over 22,000 people attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival, an outdoor country music concert held near the Las Vegas Strip, according to Las Vegas police.

Another 516 people were injured in the mass shooting, carried out by 64-year-old Stephen Craig Paddock when he began firing on the concert crowd from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel just after 10 p.m. Sunday, according to Las Vegas police. Paddock reportedly killed himself before police made their way into the hotel room.

Etcheber, who worked as a hairstylist, was at the concert with her husband Vinnie, a San Francisco police officer. According to the San Francisco Police Officers Association, Officer Etcheber told his wife to flee the scene while he stayed behind to help victims.

Stacee Etcheber's brother-in-law, Al Etcheber, reported her missing Monday, but early Tuesday morning, he confirmed that she died.

"It's with a heavy heart and deep sorrow, Stacee Etcheber has passed away," Al Etcheber wrote in a post on Facebook. "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 (these) past few days."

A vigil was scheduled to be held Tuesday night at San Ramon Elementary School in Novato at 7 p.m.

Cohen, who lived in Santa Barbara, was also at the concert with her companion Derrick "Bo" Taylor, and has been confirmed dead, according to family and friends.

"High school friend, Denise Cohen (Denise Freed) Class of 1977, was one of the many people who died in Las Vegas over the weekend," wrote Tina Lippis-Mancebo on the California High School Alumni Association Facebook page. "Judy (another friend) and I were looking forward to seeing Denise next week at our high school reunion. Denise will be so missed next week and we mourn her death...she was an amazing, vibrant, positive classmate and friend."

The Alumni Association is working with Cal High Principal Sarah Cranford to decide on a respectful way to honor Cohen and Etcheber at the Homecoming game against Dougherty Valley on Oct. 13, according to Elizabeth Graswich, communications director for the school district.

"The San Ramon Valley Unified School District joins the greater community in mourning the victims of the Las Vegas attacks," Graswich said. "Our hearts and thoughts are with the families of Denise Cohen and Stacey Etcheber."

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