Jason Aldean, Jake Owen and other celebrities react to mass murder at Route 91 Harvest festival

October 2, 2017

by John Larson

Jason Aldean
Jason Aldean (Photo by Natasha Moustache/CMA)

As details are still emerging about the mass murder shooting at the Route 91 Harvest outdoor music festival in Las Vegas, festival performer Jason Aldean and other celebrities have been making statements about the tragedy, in which at least 59 people were killed and more than 500 people injured on October 1, 2017. It is the worst mass-murder shooting in U.S. history. Stephen Craig Paddock, the 64-year-old suspected shooter, fired automatic weapons from his hotel suite at nearby Mandalay Bay, and reportedly committed suicide before he could be apprehended by police. Paddock is believed to be the only shooter in this crime.

Aldean was performing at the concert when the shooting happened. He issued this statement on his official Twitter account: “Tonight has been beyond horrific. I still don’t know what to say but wanted to let everyone know that me and my crew are safe. My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone involved tonight. It hurts my heart that this would happen to anyone who was just coming out to enjoy what should have been a fun night.”

Aldean was the last performer at the three-day festival, whose other headliners were Eric Church (on September 29) and Sam Hunt (on September 30). The sold-out event was attended by about 22,000 people on the Las Vegas Strip when the gun attack began at 10:05 p.m. Pacific Time.

Jake Owen, who performed on stage before Aldean at the festival,  tweeted these comments on October 1: “Praying for everyone here in Vegas. I witnessed the most unimaginable event tonight. We are okay. Others aren’t. Please pray.”

Owen later tweeted, “Gun shots were ringing off of the stage rigging and road cases. No one knew where to go..thank you LVPD and responders for keeping us safe.”

John Rich of Big & Rich, who also performed at the festival on  October 1 , tweeted after the tragedy: “We are ok. But our fans and friends are not. This is the worst of humanity at work. Praying for the victims in Vegas tonight.”

Route 91 festival performer Maren Morris tweeted on October 2: “Played Route 91 in Vegas the night before last. We were all singing. I’m in shock over this. Heartbroken for all those lives taken too soon.”

Live Nation, the promotion company behind Route 91 Harvest, issued this statement on October 2: “We are heartbroken over the tragedy that took place at the Route 91 Harvest festival. To think that anyone would want to inflict harm on a gathering of music lovers is beyond our comprehension. And while we are stunned and grieving over this incomprehensible act of violence, we know that this is a moment when we must come together to prevent more tragedies like this from occurring.

“Live Nation will do everything in our power to support the victims and their families through the aftermath of this horrendous event and extends our deepest gratitude to the heroic first responders who helped save as many lives as possible. To our Live Nation on-site employees, we cannot thank you enough for your bravery and perseverance over the past 24 hours and will ensure you have the resources and support necessary to heal from this.”

According to the Associated Press, dead gunman Paddock was a retired multimillionaire who did not have a known history of committing violence or having mental illness. However, his estranged father, Benjamin Hoskins Paddock (who went by several aliases and died in 1998), had a long criminal history, including arrests for bank robbery in 1960, escaping from prison in 1968 (which put him on the FBI’s Most Wanted list) and racketeering in 1987.

October 3, 2017 UPDATE:

Aldean has cancelled his California concerts that were scheduled to take place on October 6 in Los Angeles, October 7 in San Diego and October 8 in Anaheim. In a statement posted on his official website, Aldean said: “I feel like out of respect for the victims, their families and our fans, it is the right thing to do. It has been an emotional time for everyone involved this week, so we plan to take some time to mourn the ones we have lost and be close with our family and friends.”

In addition, Aldean posted this message on his Instagram account:  “Over the last 24 hrs I have gone through lots of emotions. Fear, Anger, Heartache, Compassion and many others. I truely dont [sic] understand why a person would want to take the life of another. Something has changed in this country and in this world lately that is scary to see. This world is becoming the kind of place i am afraid to raise my children in. At the end of the day we arent [sic] Democrats or Republicans, Whites or Blacks, Men or Women. We are all humans and we are all Americans and its time to start acting like it and stand together as ONE! That is the only way we will ever get this Country to be better than it has ever been, but we have a long way to go and we have to start now. My heart aches for the Victims and their families of this Senseless act. I am so sorry for the hurt and pain everyone is feeling right now and there are no words i can say to to take that pain away. Just know u all are in my heart and my prayers as we all go through this together. Time to come together and stop the hate!
#stopthehate #prayforlasvegas”

Meanwhile, Route 91 Harvest issued this statement:

“On behalf of the entire Route 91 Harvest Family, we are completely devastated by the event that occurred Sunday night.

“Our deepest sympathies go out to the injured and the deceased and their loved ones, senseless violence has claimed the souls of our fans and we have little in the way of answers.

“Our eternal gratitude goes out to the LVPD, Emergency services, security guards, and fans for their selfless acts of bravery while trying to help those in need.

“While we will try and move forward, we will never forget this day.

“We will NOT let hate win over LOVE.

“We will NOT be defeated by senseless violence.

“We WILL persevere, and honor the souls that were lost.
Because it matters.”

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