Sonny Melton and his wife, Heather, were listening to Jason Aldean sing some country tunes at a Las Vegas music festival Sunday night when a noise rang out — the sounds of gunfire.
Melton, a 29-year-old nurse in Nashville, sprang into action — shielding Heather from the barrage of bullets that rained down on the crowd of more than 22,000 people. Heather was one of the lucky survivors. Melton was not.
“At this point, I’m in complete disbelief and despair. I don’t know what to say. Sonny was the most kind-hearted, loving man I have ever met. He saved my life and lost his,” she said in a statement to NBC affiliate WCYB.
Melton is one of at least 58 people who were killed in the shooting, which is now the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. More than 500 concertgoers, hailing from different cities all over the country and world, were injured in the shooting at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival. One victim was a middle school special education teacher from southern California. Another victim was a beloved secretary in New Mexico.
Information about the victims of the Las Vegas massacre slowly emerged Monday as families and friends learned the devastating news. Authorities are still investigating how the attack unfolded, but police identified 64-year-old Stephen Paddock as the lone gunman behind the rampage. Paddock opened fire on the Route 91 concert from his hotel room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, where he had been staying for days. When a SWAT team swarmed his room, they found Paddock dead from a self-inflicted gun shot wound — and later seized at least 10 rifles from the room, according to police.
Here is a list of those identified as victims of the mass shooting in Las Vegas so far.
A special education teacher at Manhattan Beach Middle School in southern California, Sandy Casey had a demonstrable impact on her students, their families and the school community, according to a statement from Manhattan Beach Unified School District superintendent Mike Matthews, published by the Daily Breeze.
Sonny Melton, 29
Sonny Melton, a certified nurse from Tennessee, saved his wife’s life during the shooting. His wife, Dr. Heather Gulish Melton, remembered him a heartbreaking Facebook post. “Sonny was the most kind-hearted, loving man I have ever met. He saved my life and lost his,” she wrote.
Angie Gomez was a 2015 graduate from Riverside Polytechnic High School in Riverside, Calif., the school’s PTSA confirmed in a Facebook post. “She will always be loved and endeared by our Poly Family,” the post said.
Jordan McIldoon, 23
Jordan McIldoon was a mechanic apprentice from Maple Ridge, British Columbia in Canada. British Columbia Premier John Horgan said all government buildings in Victoria and Maple Ridge would fly their flags half mast in McIldoon’s honor.
Jessica Klymchuk, a Canadian resident, was also killed in the shooting. “Our hearts go out to the loved ones of the Albertan who was killed in the Las Vegas attack,” wrote Alberta Premier Rachel Notely on Twitter. “We are so sorry for your loss.”
Racheal Parker was a record technician at the Manhattan Beach Police Department in Manhattan Beach, Calif., for 10 years. She “will be greatly missed,” the department wrote in a statement.
Lisa Romero, 48
A beloved secretary at Miyamura High School in Gallup, N.M., Lisa Romero was an “incredible, loving and sincere friend, mentor and advocate for our students,” Mike Hyatt, interim superintendent of Gallup-McKinley County Public Schools, said at a press conference on Monday.