CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A woman with West Virginia roots was among the first victims of a mass shooting in Las Vegas to be identified.
Denise Burditus, who grew up in Hedgesville and who lived in Martinsburg, was attending Sunday night’s Jason Aldean concert at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas Village when 64-year-old Stephen Paddock opened fire from the 32nd floor of an adjacent hotel.
At least 58 people were killed and more than 500 were injured. About 22,000 attended the concert.
Tony Burditus wrote on his Facebook page that his wife died in his arms.
“It saddens me to say that I lost my wife of 32 years, a mother of two, soon to be grandmother of five this evening in the Las Vegas shooting,” Tony Burditus wrote. “Denise passed in my arms. I LOVE YOU BABE.”
On her own Facebook page, Denise Burditus had posted a photograph of the couple at the concert venue, apparently earlier in the day.
The couple had apparently been looking forward to the concert and trip for months. Tony Burditus’s only two posts on his Twitter page focused on the music festival.
They were both originally from the Hedgesville area and graduated from Hedgesville High. One family member described them as high school sweethearts.
He was retired from the Army, and they had moved back to Berkeley County, living in Martinsburg.
Denise described herself as semi-retired, and the couple had spent the past couple of years traveling to places like Florida, Georgia, Texas and New Orleans. The two started a blog about their travels in 2015.
On his Facebook page today, Tony Burditus had posted a photograph of the couple kissing. Posts expressing sympathy were flowing in.
“What an awesome picture Tony. My heart aches for you and your family,” one friend wrote.
Another wrote, “Oh Tony, I just keep looking at the cool beautiful pictures both you and Denise have been sharing of all the fun you were having in Vegas and at the festival. Your loss is unfathomable. Thoughts and prayers to all of you guys “