Vestry member Samantha Hirsch, membership development director and parish secretary Debby Jansma, and Debby’s husband Frank all report that they are safe after the largest mass shooting in US history at a music festival in Las Vegas overnight. At least 50 people are dead, and at least 400 wounded.
In a text message to parish staff at 11:03 Sunday night, Debby reported “We are safe in our room after running from venue. I talked to Sam Hirsch she is safe too.” At 11:09, she texted, “Shooter at concert oh my my God I crawled out.” At 12:26 a.m., Debby texted “Ugh sorry. Vegas strip on lock down. I’ll have stories to tell when I get back.”
Hirsch posted to Facebook at about 1 a.m. Sunday morning, “Safe and sound … shook up, but safe and sound.” Her friend Joanne Hanson posted at 10:32 Sunday night, “So every knows, Samantha [Hirsch] and I are safe. We are in our hotel at the Luxor. We got back to our room just as the shooting started. We are scared and afraid for our friends who were still at the venue when the shooting started.”
Assisting Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has offered this message in the wake of the shooting:
Prayers are ascending for all in the midst of this carnage at Mandalay Bay. When, oh when, will we begin to limit the availability of weapons of mass destruction and death? May the souls of all the departed rest in peace, may the injured find healing, may all the responders find courage and strength, and may all of us know that God is to be found even in the midst of this evil.