Ja­son Aldean says he hopes for heal­ing af­ter Ve­gas shoot­ing

The Sentinel-Record - - ARTS, ETC. -

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Coun­try star Ja­son Aldean says he hopes that heal­ing can start for those af­fected by a mass shoot­ing at a Las Ve­gas mu­sic fes­ti­val in his first in­ter­view since the Oc­to­ber shoot­ing.

Speak­ing on NBC’s “Today” show, Aldean, who was on stage when a gun­man opened fire on the crowd at the Route 91 Har­vest Fes­ti­val, said that he ini­tially thought a speaker had blown when he heard a sound like a crack­ling over his in-ear mon­i­tors. Af­ter the shoot­ing con­tin­ued, he looked over to the side of the stage to fig­ure out what was go­ing on.

“When I turned to look, my gui­tar player had run be­hind me and was telling me to move, like ‘Let’s go,’” Aldean said. “And my se­cu­rity guy was run­ning on stage telling me to run.”

Fifty-eight peo­ple were killed and hun­dreds more in­jured in the dead­li­est mass shoot­ing in mod­ern Amer­i­can his­tory af­ter gun­man Stephen Pad­dock opened fire from the 32nd floor of a ho­tel-casino. SWAT teams with explosives then stormed his room and found he had killed him­self.

“Every­one was scram­bling, just didn’t know what was go­ing on,” Aldean said. “It was panic. That’s prob­a­bly the best way to de­scribe it.”

The coun­try star can­celled some of his tour dates, but re­sumed tour­ing about two weeks af­ter the shoot­ing. “Hon­estly be­ing back on stage prob­a­bly helped us more than any­thing,” he said.

Aldean did not ad­dress gun con­trol in the in­ter­view.

“At the end of the day, we’re all in this to­gether,” Aldean said. “We spend so much time ar­gu­ing with each other and not enough time like work­ing on the is­sue that is re­ally the prob­lem.”

Aldean was joined in the in­ter­view by fel­low coun­try stars Dierks Bent­ley and Lady Ant­bel­lum, who were all gath­ered in Nashville, Ten­nessee, on Sun­day to raise money for hur­ri­cane and Las Ve­gas vic­tims. The Coun­try Ris­ing con­cert, which also fea­tured per­for­mances by Ge­orge Strait and Chris Sta­ple­ton, raised more than $4 mil­lion for re­lief ef­forts.

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