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Las Vegas shooting survivor says her hero husband gave his life to save hers

Heather Melton, a Las Vegas shooting survivor, told the NBC's "Today" show on Wednesday that her late husband, Sonny, saved her life during the attack Sunday night. (Image source: NBC News screenshot)

A Las Vegas shooting survivor told NBC's "Today" Wednesday that her husband gave his life to save hers during the Sunday night attack.

'I lost half my heart'

Heather and Sonny Melton traveled to the Route 91 Harvest country music festival in Las Vegas to celebrate their first wedding anniversary. Sonny was killed when a gunman opened fire on the crowd. Fifty-nine people were killed and more than 500 were injured.

Heather told "Today" that her husband’s death “wasn’t just a loss for me, it was a loss for the world and for the community.”

The Tennessee couple was watching country music singer Jason Aldean perform when they realized that the noises they were hearing were bullets, not fireworks. Heather said Sonny shielded her from the attack.

"I know he saved my life,'' she said. "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. And as we started to run, I felt him get shot in the back and we fell to the ground."

Heather, who is an orthopedic surgeon, said she tried to give Sonny CPR.

“I was just screaming for somebody to help me,” she said, adding that eventually, two men picked up Sonny, put him in a pickup truck, and took him to a hospital. They stayed with her while Sonny underwent treatment.

"I don't know their names,'' she said. "I was in too much shock to even ask, but I'm very grateful that I wasn't left alone."

Heather said when Sonny died, “I lost half my heart.”

“It was a love that I had never experienced before,” she said. “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. And I will carry that with me forever. I don’t know that I’ll ever experience that kind of love again. But the days I had with him were worth every minute.”

Sonny was 'our hero'

She said her husband was “just the most sincere, warm-hearted, caring person.”

"He could walk in a room and smile that infectious smile and people just really felt that he cared for them," Heather said.

She added that she didn't want to do an interview, “but I did not want the negative person to outshine the good souls that were lost, and I wanted the world to know how good Sonny was.”

"My son said to me, 'Mom, Sonny is an international hero … but he was always our hero before this even happened.' So this didn't just happen that one night, but he knows that his mother was saved by Sonny."

The Las Vegas attack

Police said 64-year-old Stephen Paddock opened fire on about 22,000 concertgoers on Sunday at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival from his 32nd-floor room at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. He was reportedly found dead when police entered his room.

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