Miriam Lujan and her friends were enjoying themselves at a Jason Aldean concert when shots rang out in Las Vegas on Oct. 1, 2017. Sue Ann Cornwell and her sister, Billie Jo LaCount, were also in the concert audience and were nearby Lujan when the shooting began.
Cornwell didn’t know Lujan—but that didn’t stop the 52-year-old from shielding the expectant mother. Months later, Lujan had her baby, and Cornwell recently got the chance to meet the little boy she helped to save.
A total of 58 people were killed and hundreds were injured during the Las Vegas shooting, but Lujan and the sisters who kept her safe were all among the survivors.
Lujan and Cornwell, who reconnected via Facebook, told the story of the horrific event to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Apparently, it was LaCount who first placed a backpack on top of Lujan’s belly to try and shield the baby. Lujan was seven months pregnant at the time. Then, Cornwell laid on top of her sister and Lujan, acting as a human shield to the women.
It was pure luck that Cornwell and Lujan happened to find each other on Facebook, and they decided to meet for the first time since the shooting. Lujan gave birth to a baby boy, Xander, on Nov. 26 and, of course, he came along to meet Cornwell, too.
The women recalled that once the shooting stopped, Cornwell and her sister were able to get Lujan out of the area safely.
After that, Lujan did her best to remain calm and not think about the tragic night, so as not to become too stressed during her pregnancy. Despite her best attempts to forget the terrifying events that took place that night, Lujan couldn’t help but remember the people who worked so hard to protect her.
“When you meet people like that, you kind of just keep thinking about them,” she told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Cornwell happily held Lujan’s baby during their reunion, and even though he’s only 4 months old, she said the little guy is already “part of history.”
“He’s already part of history, and he doesn’t even know it,” Cornwell told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “Out of all the ugly, here’s this child that survived. … One day his mom is going to have a story to tell him.”
Cornwell and her sister are heroes for ensuring Lujan and her baby stayed safe—and they’re not alone in their heroic efforts. There were many who worked to protect loved ones as well as to save the lives of complete strangers.
For instance, Sonny Melton is just one of the many people who will be remembered as heroes. Because of him, his wife, Heather, survived even though he did not.
“He saved my life. He grabbed me and started running when I felt him get shot in the back,” Heather told WSMV. “I want everyone to know what a kind-hearted, loving man he was, but at this point, I can barely breathe.”
Wife of Sonny Melton, Heather Gulish Melton: "He saved my life. He grabbed me and started running when I felt him get shot in the back." pic.twitter.com/yfdSFdC4rL
— Forrest Sanders (@ForrestBSanders) October 2, 2017
Aldean has even been back to Vegas to visit with those who were injured in the shooting.
In a Facebook post, the hospital said his visit “helped heal hearts and cheer those who were wounded in this tragedy.”
Months after the shooting, it’s heartwarming to see that the people who were involved are able to stay connected and heal together. Cornwell, Lujan and little Xander are the perfect example of just how strong a bond the survivors now share with one another.