Las Vegas shooting: Special education teacher, nurse who shielded wife among those killed

ABC News(LAS VEGAS) — Six of the victims who died in a mass shooting in Las Vegas Sunday night have been identified.

Among the at least 58 who were killed in the attack include a registered nurse from Tennessee, a school worker in New Mexico and four victims from California: a school worker, a special education teacher, a police records technician and a woman who graduated high school in 2015.

Riverside Polytechnic High School in California confirmed that Angela Gomez, a former student who graduated in 2015, died in the shooting.

Lisa Romero, a discipline secretary at Miyamura High School in Gallup, New Mexico, also died in the attack, the school confirmed.

Rachel Parker was among two employees from California’s Manhattan Beach Police Department who were shot, according to a police press release. Parker, a records technician, died in the hospital, police said.

“She was employed with the Manhattan Police Department for 10 years and will be greatly missed,” the press release read. The other department employee who was shot — a sworn police officer — suffered minor injuries, police said.

Simi Valley Unified School District employee Susan Smith was also killed while attending the concert. Smith had worked at the Vista Elementary School in Simi Valley, California, for three years and the school district for 16 years, a spokesperson for the school district told ABC News.

Sonny Melton, R.N., was killed when a gunman opened fire on a music festival crowd from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, his employer, Henry County Medical Center in Paris, Tennessee, said. According to White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, he died shielding his wife, Dr. Heather Melton, who survived.

“When the bullets began raining down, Sonny shielded her from danger, giving up his life to save hers,” Sanders said at Monday’s press briefing.

Thomas Gee, CEO at Henry County Medical Center, said in a statement, “The thoughts and prayers of the entire HCMC family are with Sonny and Heather’s families.”

Heather Melton, an orthopaedic surgeon, told NBC affiliate WSMV-TV her husband saved her life. “He saved my life. He grabbed me and started running when I felt him get shot in the back,” she said. “I want everyone to know what a kind-hearted, loving man he was, but at this point, I can barely breathe.”

The medical center said it has “provided counselors for any staff affected by this horrible incident.”

“This event is a traumatic life experience for those there and those that are a part of the HCMC caring community,” the medical center added. “If you are struggling to understand this event or other types of losses, HCMC has staff available at Lake Haven Behavioral Center. HCMC will be offering information and mental health tips to our partners, families and our community throughout this month as we all begin to cope with this tragedy.”

Another victim was identified as Sandy Casey, a special education teacher in Manhattan Beach, California.

Michael Matthews, superintendent of Schools at the Manhattan Beach Unified School District, said several other members of the school community were at the concert, including a principal and school psychologists.

“This is unbelievably sad and tragic,” Matthews said in a letter to families. “We wanted to let you know so that you can be prepared to support your children and to help them process this information. As you can imagine, this loss is impacting many of our staff members deeply, and while we collectively grieve, we will be working to provide support to everyone affected.”

Matthews said counselors will be available to provide support for students, teachers and parents.

The Sunday night shooting has become the deadliest in modern U.S. history. Besides the at least 58 fatalities, at least 515 people were injured. Police said that after the shooting, the lone suspect, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, was found dead when authorities stormed his Mandalay Bay hotel room.

The motive is unclear. Officials said this morning they have found no connection between the shooting and any international terrorist group.

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