Jack Beaton, 54, died a hero after being shot down by Las Vegas killer Stephen Paddock, 64. His heartbroken wife, Laurie Beaton spoke out about her beloved husband's tragic yet valiant death, saying he gave up his life to shield her from the bullets.
The Bakersfield couple were celebrating their 23 wedding anniversary when the sound of bullets shocked concertgoers during Jason Aldean's performance at Route 91 Harvest Festival. The sound of Paddock's rifle was at first confused for fireworks, but soon victims began to notice the blood on the ground and the sound of people being shot.
"I've never experienced gunshots but when I felt air go right past my arm I told my husband, 'I don't think that's fireworks,' " Laurie said to Associated Press.
"He told me, 'Get down, get down, get down,' " she said, recalling the moment her husband knocked her to the ground and laid on top of her to cover her back.
"He told me, 'I love you, Laurie' and his arms were around me and his body just went heavy on me," she said, tearfully remembering the second she realized her husband had been shot.
"I screamed his name and he wasn't answering me, there was a lot of blood," she said.
She saw Jack struggling to breathe when an EMT and nurse told her to put him on his side to keep him conscious.
Laurie claimed she refused to leave her dying husband until the second round of gunshots began and friends urged her to run to safety. Jack was taken by EMT before she could find him again. After calling various health centers and hospitals, Laurie still couldn't locate her husband. She filed a missing persons report only to find that Jack, her longtime love, had not made it out alive.
"I knew every day that he would protect me and take care of me and love me unconditionally, and what he did is no surprise to me," Laurie concluded to AP. "He is my hero."
Jack left behind to sons with his wife, and a large family who will forever remember him and honor his memory.
"Lost my best friend. I love you so much more then you could ever imagine. Please watch over our family. You will forever be remembered as our hero! #atruehero," son Jake wrote on Facebook after the incident.
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