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Los Angeles-area special education teacher among those killed in Las Vegas concert shooting

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Posted at 11:56 AM, Oct 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-02 16:15:09-04

(KGTV) -- A special education teacher with the Manhattan Beach Unified School District was among the thousands of people enjoying outdoor country-music show in Las Vegas when a gunman rained down a hail of bullets from a 32-story perch.

Sandy Casey, who taught Manhattan Beach Middle School, and at least 57 others, were killed in the massacre. Over 500 concert-goers and security staff were wounded in the attack.

Casey was with a group of Manhattan Beach Unified School District staff attending the concert, including MBMS principal Kim Linz and school psychologists Marjorie Questin and Emily Allen, the district said in letter to families.

"However, we have received information that one of our MBMS Special Education teachers, Sandy Casey (formerly Sandy McDermott), was fatally wounded," the letter said. "This is unbelievably sad and tragic."

No one else in Casey's group was injured, the district said.

The Manhattan Beach Unified School District sent the following email to district families:

Dear MBUSD Families,

This morning we are reaching out to you in shock and grief. As you may have read in the news, last night there was an unprecedented mass shooting near Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas during a concert that was part of the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival. There have been multiple fatalities and even more injuries. Several members of our MBUSD community were at the concert and in the vicinity of the attack. We have been in contact with MBMS Principal Kim Linz, who was in attendance. She is unharmed, as are MBMS teacher Ms. Debbie Dreiling; school psychologists Ms. Marjorie Questin and Ms. Emily Allen; MCHS and Meadows instructional assistant Mr. Chris Willemse; and Pennekamp Principal Dr. Karina Gerger; who were there as well. 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.

We wanted to let you know so that you can be prepared to support your children and to help them process this information. 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.

Teachers at MBMS will be sharing the news with their classes today so that we can be sure that all students hear accurate information from an adult rather than through the rumor mill. All staff at all of our school sites have been informed as well, and they are working to keep things calm and the day as typical as possible in order to support our students. We have mobilized counselors who will be on campus at MBMS and other schools as needed, 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 with those resources as needed.

We thank you for your support of your children and our staff.

Sincerely,

Mike Matthews, Superintendent