SHOREWOOD, Minn. - The parents of a Minnesota man who was missing after celebrating his 44th birthday at the Las Vegas concert where a mass shooting took place say they received the news on Tuesday that he has died.
Mary Berger says her son, Steve, was attending the country music concert with his roommate and other friends and had not been heard from since Stephen Paddock opened fire from a high-rise hotel and killed 59 people and wounded more than 500 more.
On Tuesday afternoon, Mary Berger received the heartbreaking news from the coroner's office in Las Vegas that her son was one of the confirmed deaths.
Berger said earlier on Tuesday that her son's Shorewood roommate called to tell her that he saw Steve get shot and fall to the ground, but when he tried to go to help him he was herded out of the venue.
Berger says she and her husband, Richard, were desperately searching for information before receiving the news of his death. She said they tried every phone number they could find to learn what happened to their son. They were also planning a trip to Las Vegas to try and find out more.
Now that they know what happened to their son, they will not be traveling to Vegas.
Richard Berger calls the loss of the couple's only son "terrible."
Mary Berger described her son as fun-loving with a serious side and a hard worker. He played basketball in high school and college, graduating from St. Olaf College. He was the father of three children.
Berger worked at EFS Advisors. Kent Schutte, the owner of the financial planning company, hired Berger and has known him since the early 1990s.
"I'm so proud to have known him," Schutte said. "I'm so proud to have had him as part of my life. I'm a better person because I know Steve."
Berger graduated from St. Olaf College in 1995. One of his classmates, Andy Johnsrud, remembered his energy and care for others.
"What I would say and remember about him, was the light and concern for those around him. He was selfless and connected and cared for those around him," said Johnsrud.