LAS VEGAS (CBS/AP) — One of the dozens of people killed in the Las Vegas shooting attack Sunday night was an Assumption College graduate who grew up in Dorset, Vermont.
Sandy Casey, a middle school special education teacher living in Redondo Beach, California, was killed in Sunday night’s attack.
“Sandy truly embodied the Assumptionist spirit as an individual who was using her gifts to make a meaningful impact in this world,” Assumption College President Francesco C. Cesareo said in a statement Tuesday.
Cesareo said plans were being made for a memorial service on campus for Casey and all the Las Vegas victims, and asked members of the Assumption community to donate blood from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the campus’s Hagan Hall.
“This is unbelievably tragic and sad,” Mike Matthews, superintendent of the Manhattan Beach School District, wrote in a Monday morning letter to the district. “This loss is impacting many of our staff members deeply.”
In a statement, the Manhattan Beach Unified School District said Casey had taught special ed for the past nine years.
“She is loved by students and colleagues alike and will be remembered for her sense of humor, her passion for her work, her devotion to her students, and her commitment to continuing her own learning and to taking on whatever new projects came her way,” the statement read. “She has made a tremendous difference in the lives of her students and their families, many of whom worked with her over multiple years. Her loss will be deeply felt at MBMS and throughout the MBUSD community.”
Casey, 35, is an alumna of the College of St. Joseph in Rutland, Vermont as well as Assumption, said Linda O’Leary, a cousin of Casey’s mother who is acting as a family spokeswoman.
Casey was at the Las Vegas concert with her fiancé and a friend, who were not injured, O’Leary said. Most of Casey’s extended family lives in Vermont, she said.
“They’re receiving a lot of support and love, the best you can do with an unbelievable tragedy,” she said.
Casey’s fiancé, Christopher Willemse, posted this message on Facebook the morning after the shooting:
Willemse later thanked people for the outpouring of support for Casey.
“She lived life to the fullest and made me the happiest man in the world,” he wrote. “I’m so grateful for the kind words and gestures, it means the world to me, especially for her.”
A GoFundMe page set up to pay for Casey’s funeral expenses had nearly doubled its $10,000 goal Tuesday morning.
“She was a beloved daughter, sister, fiancé, school teacher, and friend,” the page read. “We have started this Go Fund Me page in efforts to support her family financially during this tragic time.”
Casey’s loss was also felt at the Worcester college where she graduated with a Master of Arts in Special Education in 2005.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders tweeted out a message mourning Casey.
The family is discussing setting up a scholarship in Casey’s name.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)