As the world comes to terms with the horrific Las Vegas massacre that claimed 58 lives, the first victims gunned down by the 64-year-old shooter have been identified.
Tennessee resident Sonny Melton died while using his body to shield his young wife from bullets hailing down from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel.
The 29-year-old nurse was gunned down by retired accountant Stephen Paddock in a desperate bid to save the life of Heather Melton.
"He grabbed me from behind and started running when I felt him get shot in the back," his shaken wife told WZTV in a statement.
“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.”
"At this point, I'm in complete disbelief and despair,” she added.
“I want everyone to know what a kind-hearted, loving man he was, but at this point, I can barely breathe.”
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Quinton Robbins, 20, was also attending the country music festival when his life was cruelly cut short.
“Everyone who met him, loved him. His contagious laugh and smile. He was truly an amazing person. He will be missed by so many, he is loved by so many,” his aunt Kilee Wells Sanders said.
“Quinton was a pay-it-forward kinda guy," family friend Tyce Jones said following news of his death.
"He always had a smile on his face and was a nice guy. He loved his family and loved to coach his little brother’s flag football team. He will be missed."
Denise Salmon Burditus, 50, reportedly died in her husband Tony Burditus' arms just minutes after posting a picture of themselves at the festival.
“I'm just praying for comfort for their shattered hearts. Her family...Her adoring husband...Her beautiful children and grandbabies...Her friends whom she loved like family,” her friend wrote.