MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The family of a Shorewood man who was unaccounted for after the Las Vegas shootings said Tuesday that their worst fears have been confirmed, and that 44-year-old Steve Berger has died.
Richard Berger is the father of 44-year-old Steve Berger, a financial advisor and Wisconsin native. Richard Berger told WCCO his son traveled to Las Vegas to celebrate his birthday last week and last spoke with him Saturday.
“He was placing a bet on the Wisconsin-Northwestern game,” said Richard Berger from his Wisconsin home.
Around 4 a.m. Monday, Richard Berger said he received a phone call from his son’s friend and former college roommate, telling him that Steve had been shot at the concert, but was lost in the commotion.
Tuesday evening, that friend — Josh Decker — shared he was Berger when the barrage of bullets felt never-ending.
“You saw people start to fall and go down and scream and there’s so many people in such a close area you couldn’t really move anywhere, you could only get down,” Decker said.
Decker saw his friend since freshman year at St. Olaf, who was more like a brother to him, go down.
“I couldn’t touch him but I could see him. I could see he was injured, I could see he was bleeding. I couldn’t do anything, I couldn’t do anything. I basically watched him die over the next half-hour,” Decker said.
Decker said they had finished dinner at Mandalay Bay before heading to the show, the same resort and casino where the shooter took aim.
He saw someone try CPR and they yelled for help, while SWAT officers told them to get out of the area.
“We couldn’t get him help quick enough and it was impossible to get him help quick enough,” Decker said.
Decker said Berger was a larger than life person who breathed life into any room he walked into and was the best at creating memories. He’ll try to do the same for the family Berger leaves behind.
“I will do the best I can every day. I’ll get up and hopefully try to honor him and do what I can to help his children,” Decker said.
Steve Berger graduated from St. Olaf in 1995, and worked a financial advisor in Minnetonka.
At least 59 people were killed and more than 525 wounded. Crime scene tape now blocks the Mandalay Bay hotel suite used by Stephen Paddock. Police say he had an arsenal of 23 weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition in the room; 19 other guns were found in his home.
The Clark County authorities in Las Vegas have a hotline for people trying to locate missing loved ones. They say once information is submitted by loved ones, they will be contacted with an update.