ack and Laurie Beaton from Bakersfield, California, were celebrating their 23rd wedding anniversary when bullets rained down at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas on Sunday.
At 7:46 pm on Sunday night, Jack, 54, shared a Facebook photo of his wife and their friends smiling and drinking beers while enjoying the last day of the country music festivities.
Then, less than two hours later, terror ensued.
The pair initially mistook the gunfire for fireworks until a bullet brushed by Laurie’s shoulder.
As they threw themselves to the ground, Jack lay his body on top of Laurie’s to shield her from the bullets. “He told me, ‘Get down, get down, get down,’ ” she said.
“He told me, ‘I love you, Laurie’ and his arms were around me and his body just went heavy on me.” It would be his last words to his love of almost three decades as Laurie quickly realized that her husband was shot.
“I screamed his name and he wasn’t answering me, there was a lot of blood,” she said, remembering how a nurse and an EMT instructed to put Jack on his side as she heard her husband struggling to breathe.
Laurie refused to leave her husband’s side but after the second round of gunshots rang out, friends and rescue workers urged her to run to safety.
When the lights came on, Laurie returned to where her husband was she was not concerned at first when he was not still there.
“He had been moved so we were optimistic that he’d received help,” she said of friends telling her how Jack had been removed from the grounds.
With this belief, Jack’s family called for prayers for the 54-year-old construction worker.
“If every1 could please pray for my dad and every1 else at the rout 91 he jumped in front of my mom and got shot. I love you dad #atruehero,” the couple’s son, Jake, tweeted on Sunday.