Country artists Jason Aldean and Jake Owen were devastated after their concert turned into the site of the worst mass public shooting in United States history.
Aldean was performing and Owen had recently left the stage at the Route 91 Harvest festival Sunday when a gunman opened fire on the crowd from the 32nd floor of the nearby Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, killing at least 50 people and injuring more than 400 more.
“It was ringing off the top of the stage, hitting trailers, people scattering,” Owen relived in a Monday-morning interview with CNN. “It was chaos. I have never and don’t ever want to be part of anything like this again.”
Aldean was singing when the gunfire began. Many witnesses initially thought the gunshots were fireworks or an audio glitch.
Both Aldean and Owen fled the scene after the chaos began, joining the mass of people scrambling to get away.
Owen said the gunfire went on for “at least 10 minutes.”
“It was nonstop. By the time I got back to the bus after hopping a few fences, we were all laying down in the middle of the bus, and the gunfire was continuing outside,” Owen recalled.
Aldean reported that he and his team were safe in an Instagram post hours after the attack.
“Tonight has been beyond horrific,” he wrote.
“My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone involved tonight,” he continued. “It hurts my heart that this would happen to anyone who was just coming out to enjoy what should have been a fun night heartbroken stopthehate.”
Owen shared a similar message during his conversation with the CNN, which took place on the morning show “New Day With Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.”
“I feel so bad for these people. … So many people were here to have a great time,” he said. “That’s what we’re here to do for them, and they lost their lives.”
Radio host Storme Warren, who was standing on the side of the stage when the gunfire started, remained in disbelief hours afterward.
“To think someone would take the time to put the gun out of the window and shoot at a crowd of 30,000 people for whatever motive, I cannot fathom what would drive a person to do that,” he said on CNN. “If you wondered what we were thinking? ‘No, this is not happening.’ That is the feeling we all felt.”