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Las Vegas shooting victim died on his 23rd anniversary shielding wife from gunfire

Alex Lasker, AOL.com

As the United States continues to heal from the worst mass shooting in its history, more tragic stories are coming to light surrounding the 59 victims who lost their lives in Las Vegas on Sunday night.

Jack Beaton, a 54-year-old construction worker from California, was attending the Route 91 Harvest country music festival with his wife Laurie to celebrate their 23rd wedding anniversary when the pair thought they heard firecrackers going off.

After Laurie felt a rush of air brush past her arm, she says she knew it was something else entirely. 

These are the victims of the Las Vegas shooting: 

"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,'" she told the Associated Press.

Once the couple realized what was happening, Jack immediately told Laurie to 'get down' and proceeded to lay his body on top of hers to shield her from the gunfire.

"He told me, 'I love you, Laurie’ and his arms were around me and his body just went heavy on me," she recalled.

She knew when she felt her husbands weight hit her that he had been shot.

When the gunfire momentarily stopped, Laurie said that a man who identified himself as an EMT rushed over to help the couple, turning Jack on his side as he gasped for breath.

"I screamed his name and he wasn’t answering me, there was a lot of blood," she told the Associated Press.

When the second round of gunfire commenced, the man urged Laurie's friends to take her to safety, no matter how badly she did not want to leave her husband behind.

After the shooting has ceased entirely, Laurie rushed back to where she left her husband but discovered he was gone, which made her optimistic that he has received medical attention.

On Monday afternoon, the coroner's office tragically informed her that her husband was among the 59 victims of the attack.

Laurie said that her family, including her 18-year-old daughter and 20-year-old son, is reeling over the loss of their beloved father. However, she said that her husband's heroic actions did not at all surprise her.

"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," she said. "He is my hero."

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