Despite her nervousness about traveling away from her young daughters for the first time, friends of an Austin mom eventually persuaded her to treat herself and let her hair down by taking a trip to Las Vegas to celebrate her upcoming marriage to her partner and father of her children.
A friend bought Michaela Clark tickets to the Route 91 Harvest Festival, the same festival that a gunman targeted Sunday when he fired hundreds of rounds into the crowd, killing at least 59 people and injuring more than 500, including Clark.
“She was supposed to fly home the following morning,” said Clark’s friend Victoria Brewer.
Clark, who lives in Austin’s Circle C neighborhood, is the fourth Central Texan the American-Statesman has identified as a shooting victim in the Las Vegas attack. A Spicewood father, a Cedar Park woman who is part of an Austin church’s ministry staff, and a Seguin police deputy chief also are among those recovering.
Brewer said Clark heard the shots and didn’t realize until after she had already started running that she she’d been shot in the back.
“A complete stranger and his friend put her over her shoulder and ran with her,” Brewer said. “They got her under a car and sheltered for a little while.”
Clark’s daughters and her fiance are now with her in Las Vegas, and doctors expect her to make a full recovery. Brewer said Clark hopes she can track down those who saved her and thank them.
Friends and families of all the Central Texas victims are rallying to raise money for medical bills and other expenses. Brewer has created a GoFundMe.com page to raise money for Clark.
“We want to take some of the financial pressure off them so they can focus on healing and not the bills and where her fiance’s going to stay,” Brewer said.
Brewer said it’s the least she can do for someone who has spent so much time helping other people. After Hurricane Harvey, Clark spent weeks raising money to replace supplies for a Houston classroom before driving the supplies down to Houston herself, Brewer said.
Spicewood man injured
Chad Daoust, the father of two students at Lake Travis High School, was also shot in the attack, friends and a Lake Travis school district spokesman have confirmed.
Daoust, a Spicewood resident, was released from the hospital Tuesday, family friend Cade Bruck said. Hospital staff are monitoring him in hopes that a bullet, which remains near his left lung, shifts to an area where it can be retrieved without risk of puncturing his lung, Bruck said. A shard from the bullet is embedded in Daoust’s left lung, he said.
A GoFundMe.com account has been established by a friend of one of Daoust’s children to assist with medical expenses. The money raised will also go toward a welcome back event for the family, including flowers, decorations and a gift card for an evening out, the page says.
Deputy chief, church worker recovering
Friends and family also said Seguin Police Deputy Chief Bruce Ure, who lives in Lakeway, was injured in the shooting, as was Danae Dawn Gibbs, a Cedar Park woman on the ministry staff of Austin’s Riverbend Church.
“I caught a piece of bullet shrapnel on my hand but minor,” Ure wrote on Facebook. “The shooter was 22 floors directly above our room. Rounds hitting the ground all around us. I am guessing 400-500 rounds. Maybe more. Sounded like a war zone.”
Gibbs, 23, who graduated from Texas Tech University earlier this year, was also hit by gunfire, family and friends said.
Late Monday morning, the creator of the GoFundMe page for Gibbs said she was out of surgery and resting.