Country artists and fans were looking forward to the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas and expecting it to be one of the best 3-day weekends in country music.
No one expected the tragic events, which left at least 50 dead and more than 400 people hospitalized, and is being described as the deadliest shooting in modern history in the United States.
Jake Owen experienced it firsthand, along with several other country artists and almost 30,000 fans.
Owen was on stage and was standing just 50 feet from Jason Aldean when he heard what he thought was gunfire.
Jake Owen told Fox News “That’s when I noticed people being shot. It was chaotic. We didn’t really know what was going on. I heard guns go off and it stopped for about 30 seconds like he was reloading. Chaos was happening. I ran to our bus in another parking lot and everyone seemed to be OK. I don’t know what to say. I was scared like a lot of other people. This was a country crowd. There were fathers out there with kids on their shoulders.
“You couldn’t tell where it was coming from,” he added. “It was loud and non-stop.”
Owen told TODAY the gunfire went on for about 10 minutes, and described the scene as something lifted directly out of a Hollywood movie.
“I just kind of ran like everyone else. At one point, I was crouched down behind a cop car with about 20 other people, that were people who had just come to the show,” Owen said.
“Everyone’s asking if everyone’s okay. There was blood on people. You can see a couple of folks in the street that looked like they had been shot, lying there.”
“It wasn’t something that just was quick,” he said. “It was chaos for a pure 7-10 minutes.”
Jake told ABC News that because Jason Aldean was using in-ear monitors, as most performers do onstage, he likely wasn’t aware of the shots at first and continued to play for a few moments.
“I don’t think at first he could even hear the shots that were going off, until I think someone in his crew said, ‘Hey, you need to get offstage or run back here,’” Jake recalled.
“Jason turned around and started running back toward his drum riser to get out of the way once he realized that gunshots were being fired,” said Owen. “The crowd started running. It was a bad scene.”
Owen credited first responders for responding quickly to the shooting.
“They did everything they could to get out here quickly as possible and take care of these people,” he said.