Culture

Jason Aldean Remembers Las Vegas Shooting Victims and Survivors on Tragedy's Anniversary

Country star Jason Aldean paid homage to the survivors and victims of the 2017 Las Vegas shooting on Monday. Aldean was performing at the Route 91 Harvest festival when a man on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino opened fire, killing 58 festivalgoers and injuring more than 800 others.

Aldean tweeted in remembrance of those affected by the shooting on the one year anniversary of the national tragedy. “Thinking about our Route 91 family today. #vegasstrong,” he wrote.

The 41-year-old was on stage when a rapid spray of bullets pierced a crowd of roughly 22,000 country music fans watching him perform. Aldean told The Tennessean he initially thought the sound of gunfire was a blown-out speaker, but after he was rushed off stage by security he realized what was happening was far more vicious. “The last possible thing I thought could be happening was somebody shooting a gun at us,” Aldean said in an interview with the publication, released in April.

“Once you figure out what’s going on… What people don’t realize is that we didn’t know where it was coming from. For all we knew, he was on the ground backstage, walking around mowing people down. It’s the worst thing I’ve ever experienced, hands down,” he continued.

The country music industry took time to remember those killed and injured in the shooting, including dozens of country music radio stations, record labels, booking agents, publishers and musicians who vowed to observe a moment of silence for 58 seconds at 1:05 p.m. ET on Monday, in recognition of the 58 lives lost during that exact time last year.

Jake Owen, who also performed at the festival last year, honored those who lost their lives. 

"I will never forget the evening of October 1st, 2017. A year ago today people were loving life," Owens tweeted. "They were singing along. Families and friends. 58 lives were lost and thousands were injured and lives changed forever. You will always be in my heart and on my mind."

 



 

 

Nevada Senator Dean Heller commemorated the anniversary of the mass shooting in a statement released Monday. “Our community is still grieving and it will never be the same, but hatred and fear did not win the night, or any night since, October 1, 2017,” he said.

“Even though the horrific actions of one man exposed humanity at its worst, what followed were countless stories of heroism and humankind at its best. Las Vegas showed the world what it meant to be Vegas Strong, and I had the honor of experiencing it first hand, in the eyes and voices of those who survived and those who were eager to help others. On that tragic night, so many ordinary Nevadans made the choice to be extraordinary,” Hhe continued.

A year after the shooting, Las Vegas police haven’t come any closer to understanding why it occurred. Stephen Paddock, the gunman and a former postal worker and tax auditor, shot himself moments after opening fire on the festival from his hotel room. The 64-year-old was described as a high-risk gambler who lived an incredibly private life. Paddock's girlfriend, Marilou Danley, told Las Vegas police he appeared to be deteriorating mentally and physically in the months leading up to the shooting, according to a New York Times report.

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