TCU Graduate Fighting for Her Life After Mass Shooting in Las Vegas

Elle Gargano stood near the front of the stage at the Jason Aldean concert with a friend when the shooting began Sunday night.

At 23, she recently graduated from Texas Christian University with a degree in strategic communication. She moved home to California, where she got a job as a marketing assistant for Zumasys, an IT infrastructure company that specializes in cloud computing and software development.

Like the other 22,000 country music fans in Las Vegas over the weekend, Gargano had gone to enjoy the three-day Route 91 Harvest music festival. Instead, she's one of the more than 500 injured when a gunman unloaded a barrage of gunfire from his hotel room. The rampage killed 59 people.

Gargano was shot in the back of the head and rushed to a nearby hospital, according to a Zumasys statement. Her friend was uninjured.

“For those of you who have visited our headquarters in Irvine, you know that Elle is the face of Zumasys," the statement said. "A valued member of our marketing team (and the person normally writing these posts). Elle is beloved by all who work with her. Although she is the youngest member of the team, Elle is wise beyond her years. Her creative talents, incredible work ethic and infectious smile are endearing and missed already.”

A GoFundMe page was set up Monday to help with Gargano's medical costs. More than $60,000 had been raised by Tuesday afternoon. In a note posted on the page, her father said she had slept peacefully through the night.

The family also received some good news. A CT scan showed that swelling around Gargano's brain had lessened, and there was less fluid.

“These findings indicate Elle is healing!” he posted Tuesday afternoon. “Needless to say, it is a long journey ahead but Elle is moving herself in the right direction.”

Gargano's father explained that her sister was flying in from New York and her boyfriend, Josh, has been by her side with the family since they learned about the shooting. “We, with all of you, are helping Elle in her fight,” her father wrote.

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Christian McPhate is an award-winning journalist who specializes in investigative reporting. He covers crime, the environment, business, government and social justice. His work has appeared in several publications, including the Dallas Morning News, the Fort Worth Star Telegram, the Miami Herald, San Antonio Express News and The Washington Times.

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