Fireworks. That’s what many people thought they heard Sunday night as Jason Aldean performed to thousands at the Route 91 music festival on the Las Vegas Strip.
Cheers became screams as the crowd realized that the loud bangs they heard were not fireworks. They were bullets.
Authorities said a man opened fire from a 32nd-floor room at the Mandalay Bay Resort.
Country artist Bryan Hopkins, who plays with the band Elvis Monroe and who was near the main stage, ran for his life. He hid in a freezer with dozens of others.
Hopkins described a horrifying scene.
"There's a body. Then another body,” he said. "Then another body. And by the time we get to the fourth body, there's no way he's alive."
County music has a stronghold in Georgia. Kicks 101.5’s Cadillac Jack said Aldean is like family.
"He acknowledges that Kicks kick-started his career when his first songs came out,” Jack said.
Callers flooded the station’s lines on Monday, many with same question.
“Why? Maybe we'll get that answer. Maybe we won't,” Jack said.
Cadillac says the country music community in Atlanta is tight knit. Small enough where everyone knows someone impacted by the deadly shooting. His message for concert goers: not to live in fear.
"You should not be scared what so ever to attend any concert,” Jack said. “A country concert too."
At least 58 people were killed and more than 500 injured in the shooting. Police said the gunman, identified as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound as authorities closed in on 32nd story floor at the Mandalay Bay complex.
A motive in the deadliest shooting rampage in modern U.S. history has yet to be determined.
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