Three days after losing her husband during Sunday night's mass shooting in Las Vegas, Heather Melton is speaking out to ensure the world knows how incredible of a person Sonny Melton was.
"It was a love that I had never experienced before," Heather Melton told TODAY host Savannah Guthrie. "It was the kind of love that fills you up every single day. We loved being together and people felt how much we loved each other."
Heather and Sonny were celebrating their one-year anniversary together at the Route 91 Harvest Festival on Sunday night when 64-year-old Stephen Paddock opened fire from the 32nd floor of his Mandalay Bay Hotel room window, killing 59 concertgoers and injuring over 500 before turning the gun on himself.
These are the victims of the Las Vegas shooting:
Heather told TODAY that when gunshots first rang out at the venue, she wanted to hit the ground, but Sonny refused to let her.
"I said, 'Let's get down,' and he said, 'No, we'll get trampled, let's go,' and he wrapped his arms around my back," she told Guthrie. "And as we started to run, I felt him get shot in the back and we fell to the ground."
Heather, an orthopedic surgeon at Henry County Medical Center in Tennesee, said she tried to perform CPR on her husband on the field while there were still bullets landing all around them.
Eventually, when gunfire ceased, a good Samaritan rushed in to help the pair, throwing Sonny over his shoulder and placing him in the back of a pick-up truck with two other victims.
Heather said that the kind stranger performed CPR on her dying husband throughout the entire ride to the hospital, but by the time they arrived, it was too late to save him.
Heather described her late husband, who was a nurse at the same hospital she worked at, as "the most sincere, warm-hearted, caring person" with an infectious smile that made other people believe he genuinely cared about them.
Although Heather told TODAY that sharing her story was impossibly hard, she said she refused to let a negative person outshine the good souls that were lost.
"I wanted the world to know how good Sonny was,'' she said. "My son said to me, 'Mom, Sonny's an international hero,’ and I said, 'Well, he was always our hero before this happened.'"
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