Jake Owen gives firsthand account of “chaotic” shooting scene in Vegas Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images for iHeartMedia
AUSTIN, TX - MAY 06: Musician Jake Owen performs onstage during the 2017 iHeartCountry Festival, A Music Experience by AT&T at The Frank Erwin Center on May 6, 2017 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images for iHeartMedia )

A slew of country music’s finest were looking forward to spending the night of Oct. 1 doing what they do best on the final evening of the Route 91 HarvestFestival in Las Vegas – performing for the fans they love so much.

Jake Owen was one of them.

RELATED: Country stars react to deadly Las Vegas shooting

“I was on the side of the stage,” Jake Owen told Fox News just a couple of hours after the shooting incident that killed at least 58 people and injured 515 others. “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.”

RELATED: Jason Aldean reacts to the ‘horrific’ Las Vegas shooting

A short time after his FOX interview, Jake was also interviewed on ABC News, and told that outlet that because Jason 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. “I could tell he kind of stopped and started running, but at that point we were all not knowing what to do.”


From his vantage point on the stage, Jake said he saw Jason turn around and start running back toward the drum riser “to get out of the way once he realized that gunshots were being fired, and the crowd started running. It was a bad scene. There were people literally being shot. You could see blood everywhere. It was something that I wouldn’t ever want to see again or wish upon anyone else to see.


“I keep saying it was like a bad movie that you’ve seen before but never thought it would be real life,” Jake added.

Jake was one of seven scheduled festival performers on the main stage on Sunday, a group that also included Tyler Reeve, Kane Brown, Dee Jay Silver, Big & Rich, Josh Abbott Band and Jason Aldean, who was on the stage when the shooting occurred.

Our prayers remain with everyone hurting over this devastating incident, which has now been confirmed as the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

Tricia Despres is a senior correspondent for Rare Country, based out of Chicago. Join the conversation on Twitter at @RareCountry. We would love to see y’all there.
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