LAS VEGAS (October 1) — A Big Sandy man is among at least 59 fatalities at an outdoor country music concert Sunday night on the Las Vegas strip where a man opened fire from a nearby hotel room.
Sonny Melton, 29, was attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival with his wife, Dr. Heather Gulish Melton, when a man identified as Nevada resident Stephen Paddock, 64, fired hundreds of rounds into the crowd of an estimated 22,000 from a room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, killing 59 people and injuring over 520.
Melton was struck while protecting his wife, who was not physically injured. In a Facebook post, Dr. Melton calls her husband her “true love and knight in shining armor.”
Melton, a 2006 graduate of Big Sandy High School, was a registered nurse at Henry County Medical Center, where his wife is also employed as an orthopedic surgeon.
HCMC released a statement Monday in response to the tragedy, saying, in part, “Henry County Medical Center is deeply saddened by the tragic loss of life that occurred. This event hits close to home for all of us in Paris and Henry County.”
CEO Thomas Gee said, “The thoughts and prayers of the entire HCMC family are with Sonny and Heather’s families. We ask that all staff, friends and patients of the couple respect their privacy at this time and refrain from contacting the family and the HCMC Kelley Clinic if they do not have a reason to do so.”
Melton’s heroic sacrifice was one of several personal stories shared during the White House daily press briefing by Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Monday.
Dr. Melton’s father, Dr. Eugene Gulish, is an orthopedic surgeon at McKenzie Regional Hospital.
This is the deadliest mass shooting in the nation’s history, surpassing the shooting in an Orlando nightclub in 2016 which killed 49.