Jake Owen called into several morning shows on Monday, October 2, to share his firsthand account of the deadly mass shooting that occurred at the Route 91 Harvest music festival in Las Vegas the night before.
“Standing there, you could hear the bullets starting to hit the roof of the stage and people started fleeing everywhere,” the 36-year-old country singer, who performed at the festival before headliner Jason Aldean, recalled on Good Morning America. “You could hear people screaming. It sounded like gunshots were coming from all around us, and this is before any of us knew that it was coming from above.”
As previously reported, a gunman opened fire on the crowd of 30,000 concertgoers from the 32nd floor of the nearby Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. At least 50 people were killed and more than 400 injured, making the attack the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
“I keep saying it was like a bad movie that you’ve seen before but never thought it would be real life,” Owen continued. “Jason turned around and started running back toward his drum riser to get out of the way once he realized that gunshots were being fired. The crowd started running. It was a bad scene. There were people literally being shot. You could see blood everywhere. It was something that I wouldn’t ever want to see again or wish upon anyone else to see.”
According to the “American Country Love” crooner, Aldean initially did not realize what was happening. “I don’t think at first he could even hear the shots that were going off until I think someone maybe in his crew said, ‘Hey, you need to get off stage and run back here,'” Owen said. “I could tell he kind of stopped and started running. At that point, we were all not knowing what to do.”
Owen also opened up about the chaos during a phone call to the Today show. “I just kind of ran like everyone else,” he recounted. “At one point, I was crouched behind a cop car with about 20 other people … It wasn’t something that was just quick. It was chaos for a pure 7 to 10 minutes.”
Police identified the suspect in the shooting as Stephen Paddock, a 64-year-old resident of Mesquite, Nevada. He died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound before authorities broke into his hotel room, where at least 10 riles were discovered. Paddock is believed to have been the sole shooter.
Families trying to locate missing loved ones should call 1-866-535-5654.