Words of sympathy began to pour in Monday from musicians who had performed over the weekend at the Las Vegas festival where a shooting killed more than 50 people.
The shooting happened Sunday, on the last night of the Route 91 Harvest Festival, a three-day country music event. Online video showed singer Jason Aldean, who was listed as the festival’s final act, performing as the attack began.
Early Monday, Aldean posted a photo of the words “Pray for Las Vegas” superimposed over the city’s skyline. The attack “hurts my heart,” he wrote.
“Tonight has been beyond horrific. I still dont 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. #heartbroken #stopthehate”
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Jake Owen, a country singer who had performed earlier in the night, said on CNN on Monday that he was onstage with Aldean when the attack unfolded.
“It’s like shooting fish in a barrel from where he was,” Owen said, referring to the gunman, who police said carried out the attack from a hotel room at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. “I feel so bad for these people. We’re so lucky that none of us were in the line of fire.”
Owen added that the shooting continued for some time.
“This is not an exaggeration: This shooting was going on for at least 10 minutes,” he said. “It was nonstop.”
Several other performers listed on an online schedule as having performed earlier in the day also offered sympathy online.
“Really no words,” singer Tyler Reeve wrote on Twitter. “Will never understand how people can do these things. Keep these people in your prayers.”
Singer Luke Combs posted a photo on Instagram of himself onstage earlier on Sunday.
“I wanted to post a photo of what this festival was supposed to be about and not give this horrible person the recognition he so desperately wanted,” Combs wrote. “I am incredibly saddened by tonight’s events and while I’m thankful that me and all of my band and crew are alive and unharmed, I can’t help but hurt for all the people who weren’t as fortunate and the pain their loved ones must feel.”
Early Monday, musician Josh Abbott said on Twitter that his group, the Josh Abbott Band, had been evacuated from the Mandalay Bay resort.
Singer Kane Brown, who, according to the schedule, had performed earlier, posted just four words on Twitter early Monday: “This world is sick,” he wrote.
Other country music stars weighed in as well. Shania Twain said she was “heartbroken.” Keith Urban said he was “stilled and speechless.”
“There are no words right now that suffice,” said Brad Paisley. “Why?” asked Blake Shelton.
Pop singer Ariana Grande, whose concert in Manchester, England, was struck in May by a suicide bomber who killed 22 people and wounded hundreds more, wrote on Twitter, “My heart is breaking for Las Vegas,” and called for more gun control measures.