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Bakersfield man shielding wife from gunfire killed in Vegas mass shooting

Jack Beaton, of Kern County, Calif., is seen in a photo tweeted by his son Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017. Beaton's family confirmed he was killed in the mass shooting at the Las Vegas music festival.

A second person from Kern County is confirmed to have been killed in Sunday night's mass shooting at a Las Vegas music festival.

Jack Beaton's death was confirmed directly to Eyewitness News by his mother-in-law. She said the family is "heartbroken" and described Jack as an "incredibly friendly, caring and loving" man.

He was celebrating his 23rd anniversary at the concert, according to his father-in-law.

LIST | Status of Kern County people who were at Vegas concert when sniper opened fire

Beaton was shot when he shielded his wife from the gunfire, according to his son on Twitter.

His father-in-law, Jerry Cook, described him as a kid at heart, who loved to drive his truck with his hat on sideways, but still a responsible father with a loving personality.

"He never passed up an opportunity to give somebody a hand," Cook said. "He always had a smile on his face. He had countless friends. Everybody that came in contact with him loved the guy."

At least 59 people were killed when a gunman perched on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel opened fire on the crowd at the Route 91 Harvest Festival.

"He put Laurie on the ground and covered her with his body, and he got shot I don't know how many times," Cook said, recounting what his daughter told him over the phone immediately after the shooting. "Laurie was saying he was bleeding through the mouth, bleeding profusely, she knew he was dying. He told her he loved her. Laurie could tell he was slipping. She told him she loved him, and she would see him in Heaven."

When the gunfire subsided, Laurie's friends tried to pull her to safety.

"The people she was with kind of pulled her away and said, 'Laurie you have to come with us, we have to get out of this fire,'" Cook said. "She said, 'No, I can't leave my husband. I can't leave my husband.' And they said, 'Laurie, Jack's gone. We have to go.'"

Laurie Beaton escaped to safety with the two other couples joining them on the trip. When she returned to the scene, Jack Beaton was gone. She learned Monday afternoon he had died.

"They were just in the wrong place at the wrong time," Cook said.

Jack Beaton leaves behind two children, Jake and Delaney.

Eyewitness News has confirmed that four others with local connections were killed in the shooting: Kelsey Meadows, Bailey Schweitzer, Melissa Ramirez and Victor Link.

Dozens of other people from Kern County were at the concert at the time of the shooting, some of them also injured.



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