West Tennessee Man Killed In Las Vegas Shooting

Posted at 9:21 AM, Oct 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-03 09:35:01-04

A West Tennessee man was among the dozens killed when a gunman opened fire at a country music festival in Las Vegas.  

Las Vegas Shooting: At Least 50 Dead, 400 Hospitalized

More than 55 people were killed Sunday night during an outdoor performance by country singer Jason Aldean.

Sonny Melton, age 29, was identified as one of the victims by his wife on social media. They were reportedly attending the Route 91 Festival when the suspected gunman, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, began firing from the 32nd floor of the nearby Mandalay Bay hotel.  

According to Union University, Melton completed his Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree in 2015.  

He had a contagious smile and a genuine passion for life that brought joy to those around him but the death of Sonny Melton during the Las Vegas shooting massacre Sunday night has sent the small town of Big Sandy, Tennessee in to shock.

Melton had spent the weekend in Las Vegas with his wife Dr. Heather Gulish Melton. Media reports on Monday revealed that Sonny likely saved his wife's life by pushing her out of the way as bullets rained down from the skies above a music festival.

"I lost my true love and knight in shining armor," she wrote on Facebook Monday.

Sonny was a graduate of Big Sandy High School, friends recall a man who loved his community, loved hunting and loved to go out of his way for others.

"The world is a little more cloudy today because he was our sunshine," longtime friend Autumn Ratliff said in an interview Monday.

Sonny's parents both left for Las Vegas hours after receiving news of their son's death. Family members say they are still working on arrangements to have his body brought back to Tennessee before making funeral arrangements.

His though has shaken this small town to its core. 

"He just would bring out the best in you"

About 500 others were rushed to hospitals after the shooting and ensuing stampede, police said.

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry called the shooting an "unimaginable scene of terror."