(CFM) – Last night at approximately 10pm local time, a gunman began shooting into a crowd at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas, NV. The shooter, identified as 64-year-old Steven Paddock, opened fire from his hotel room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay as Jason Aldean performed his headlining set for a crowd of thousands on the festival’s final night.
The shooting has left more than 50 people dead and over 200 injured, making it the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Our hearts go out to the victims and their families.
“We were close to the stages — about six rows from the front on the lefthand side, and [Aldean] was just performing,” festival attendee Rachel Dekerf describes to CNN. “The gunshots lasted for 10-15 minutes. It didn’t stop. We just ran for our lives.”
Monique Dumas, Dekerf’s sister who was also attending the festival added, “The band was rushed off the stage, the floodlights came on the crowd, and you see on the right hand of the stage the person who was injured, so they’re calling for medics, calling for security, then there was gunfire again. It seemed there was a pause in the gunfire, and the people in the yellow shirts were telling the people to ‘go, go, go, go. The gunfire never ended. It seemed like it went on and on and on.”
The annual Route 91 Harvest Festival ran from September 29 – October 1 and featured performances by some of country music’s hottest acts including Eric Church, Jake Owen, Maren Morris, Sam Hunt, Big & Rich, and others. It was announced on Friday that Jason Aldean would perform at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville at Country Rising – a special concert to raise funds for hurricane relief alongside Garth Brooks, George Straight, Carrie Underwood, Dierks Bentley, Reba McEntire, and others.