From my notes: “The Vegas murderer’s ‘companion’ is documented as Marilou Natividad-Bustos, in California, with a birthday of January 1962 — making her 55 years old. In Nevada, she’s registered as Marilou Lou Danley, with a birthday of December 1954 — meaning she would be 62. She also has two social security numbers.”
As an orthopedic surgeon from Big Sandy, Tennessee, Heather Melton is used to a certain amount of trauma. But the trauma of what happened Sunday night in Las Vegas is one she cannot repair.
She and her husband, Sonny were both attending the music festival. She survived, but Sonny, who shielded her from the bullets, was killed.
“He protected me. He saved my life. Sonny helped me through probably the most difficult time in my life. So I always say he saved me once, and now he has saved me again.
Big and Rich were playing, ‘God Bless America’ and the whole crowd was singing at the top of their lungs. Everybody had their phone lights up and it was just a really nice atmosphere. That was about an hour before the shooting started.
I actually turned to Sonny and I said, ‘Was that a gun?’ and he said, ‘I don’t think so,’ because the music was very loud. And then there came a longer series of shots and I said, ‘I think that’s guns.’ And then the third time it was even longer. And that’s when Jason Aldean ran off the stage.
I said to Sonny, ‘We just need to get down. And he said, ‘No, we can’t get down because we’ll get trampled.’ And that’s when he just wrapped his arms around me from behind and we started running. And that’s when I felt him get shot in the back and we fell to the ground. I couldn’t feel a pulse and there were still bullets flying all around us.
[Then] they actually shut the lights off of the stage and there was just darkness, and I could just see images around me of people on the ground, people running. It was like you were thrown into a battlefield.
Two men with a truck lifted Sonny from the field and took him to a nearby hospital. It wasn’t very long after they arrived at the hospital that Heather learned Sonny was gone.
“I was covered in Sonny’s blood. I was in so much shock and pain at the time that I felt like I couldn’t even breathe. [But] really in my heart, I feel like [his passing] happened on the field.
After he was pronounced, she leaned over, kissed him and hugged him, but because of another incoming trauma, “They asked me to leave and that was the last time I saw him. The hospital had a chaplain who came and spoke with me, and some other representatives who were trying to tell me about talking to the coroner, and the morgue, and whatever else needed to be done. But those things, they don’t register at that time.
And I just remember the homicide detectives walking in to talk to me, and I just wanted to run away. Like, ‘I don’t want to be the person you need to talk to,’ but I am. And finally, I don’t even remember what time it was, maybe 3:00 in the morning, they let us leave.
I told my children the next day. I wanted to tell them before they saw it on the news, and they’re completely grief-stricken. He was the best stepdad they could ever have, and he loved them like they were his own children.
I’m going back with two suitcases and my husband’s going to be in the cargo. This is not how I want to fly back with him. It’s just almost unbearable to think about. [But] I actually don’t have anger, but I refuse to even think about the demon that shot and killed so many people. I don’t even know his name, and I don’t want to know his name.”