Friends and family say final goodbyes to Big Sandy hometown hero Sonny Melton

BIG SANDY, Tenn. — The mass shooting in Las Vegas hit the small town of Big Sandy hard as hundreds of people gathered together Tuesday to say their final goodbyes to 29-year-old Sonny Melton.

Sonny was killed in the shooting last Sunday while acting as a human shield, protecting his wife Dr. Heather Gulish-Melton as bullets rained down on them.

“We sat in silence, weeping, questioning what kind of country this has turned into, with complete loss of faith in humanity,” said Heather’s brother Kris Gulish.

Friends and family said the overwhelming love and support from the entire community made it clear how much of an impact he had on everyone he knew.

“I then realized that although there will always be evil in this world, it is exponentially outnumbered by the good,” Gulish said.

One tribute song in particular was sang by California resident Daniel Bond, a man Dr. Melton said tried to save Sonny’s life that fateful night.

“After I had found out that Sonny had passed, he stayed with me the entire time, a complete stranger. There was more than one hero that night and we’re very lucky that he has come from California to join us,” said Dr. Heather Gulish-Melton, Sonny’s wife.

As people shed tears and embraced one another, they were reminded that Sonny would’ve wanted them to remember him as the selfless hometown hero who loved country music and could light up the room with a smile.

“In the words of another county song, ‘so long my friend, until we meet again.’ Sonny we will see you again, and in the meantime, keep on shining,” said Kris.

The burial for Sonny Melton was private for family and closest friends. Green ribbons can still be seen lining the streets of Henry and Benton Counties in loving memory of Big Sandy’s hometown hero.