PEOPLE confirms Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger sent a company-wide email to break the sad news that Carrie Barnette was one of 59 people killed in the mass shooting.
Barnette worked at Flo’s V-8 Cafe in Cars Land and formerly at Pacific Wharf Cafe in Disney California Adventure in Anaheim, California.
The Riverside native, who graduated from Pacifica High School in Garden Grove, California, was 34.
“Our hearts go out to everyone impacted by the tragic events in Las Vegas – the victims of violence, the witnesses, and the friends and families mourning loved ones. We are especially heartbroken over the loss of one of our own to this unconscionable and senseless act,” Iger, 66, said in his statement to employees.
“Carrie Barnette had been a member of the Disney California Adventure culinary team for ten years and was beloved by her friends and colleagues. Our thoughts are with her family, along with our support, during this incredibly difficult time.
Carrie Barnette Facebook
“I know we have many more Disney employees impacted by this latest act of senseless violence, who were either on site or had loved ones who were. Our hearts are with each of them as they begin to process this terrifying experience,” the businessman concluded.
Iger also took to Twitter on Monday, writing, “A senseless, horrific, act, and a terrible loss for so many. We mourn a wonderful member of the Disney family: Carrie Barnette. Tragic.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help with Barnette’s funeral expenses.
“A loving sister daughter aunt and friend was taken away far too early during the Las Vegas massacre a family is never prepared for a tragedy like this,” the account description states.
Barnette’s cousin, Janice Chambers, spoke with The Arizona Republic, describing Carrie as the “life of the party.”
Carrie Barnette Facebook
“I knew she was there, we have been up all night awaiting news. We knew she had been shot. This morning a friend with her confirmed she is gone,” Chambers described of how their family was informed of Carrie’s death.
“She said there are bodies stacked everywhere. Not any real details as to more, other than she was up front close to stage. She was shot to the left side of her chest and a friend with her was there at her side when she passed,” said Chambers, who lovingly described Barnette as “always smiling, happy and upbeat.”
“We are in shock and devastated. She was a beautiful soul,” Chambers said. “She lived her life to the fullest, adored her family niece and new nephew. She was a beauty inside and out, loved life and making others smile. She was very adventurous, loved to travel. Heaven gained a beautiful angel.”
Barnette’s high school classmates paid tribute to her on their Class of 2001 Facebook group page.
“Fellow Mariners, so saddened to hear the news about Carrie Barnette passing away in the LV shooting. What a tragic event that has struck so many; so many people and families in my prayers,” the statement read.
In his email, Iger also said cast member Jessica Milam was one of the over 500 injured during the shooting. Milam is recovering from surgery, according to her friends on Facebook.
How to Help and Learn About Loved Ones
Friends and family are asked to report missing people believed to be connected to the shooting using the hotline 1-800-536-9488.
Anyone with photo or video evidence of the shooting is asked to call 1-800-CALL-FBI.
The city of Las Vegas has established a Family Reunification Center to help connect relatives with the more than 500 people who were injured.
In addition, city officials urged those locally who wish to donate blood to visit one of two donation centers operated by United Blood Services, either at 6930 W. Charleston in Las Vegas or at 601 Whitney Ranch Drive in Henderson, Nevada.
A victims’ fund has been started on GoFundMe by Steve Sisolak the Clark County, Nevada, commission chair. Other groups providing relief include the local chapter of the American Red Cross and the National Compassion Fund.