Jason Aldean is speaking out after at least 59 people were killed and 527 more were injured Sunday during his set at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas. From his 32nd floor hotel room at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Stephen Paddock opened fire on a crowd of more than 22,000 people. Video footage showed the musician running offstage as bullets were fired.
In the aftermath, Aldean took to Instagram to let fans know he was safe and pray for those who were not. "Tonight has been beyond horrific. I still don't 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," he said. "#heartbroken #stopthehate."
Late Monday night, the country artist pleaded for unity.
"Over the last 24 hrs I have gone through lots of emotions. Scared, Anger, Heartache, Compassion and many others. I truely dont understand why a person would want to take the life of another. Something has changed in this country and in this world lately that is scary to see," Aldean said. "This world is becoming the kind of place i am afraid to raise my children in."
It's impossible not to politicize the tragedy, but for now, Aldean wants his fellow Americans to focus on coming together to heal. "At the end of the day we arent Democrats or Republicans, Whites or Blacks, Men or Women. We are all humans and we are all Americans and its time to start acting like it and stand together as ONE! That is the only way we will ever get this Country to be better than it has ever been, but we have a long way to go and we have to start now," he wrote. "My heart aches for the Victims and their families of this Senseless act. I am so sorry for the hurt and pain everyone is feeling right now and there are no words i can say to to take that pain away. Just know u all are in my heart and my prayers as we all go through this together."
In conclusion, Aldean wrote, "Time to come together and stop the hate!"
Local police are urging families trying to locate missing loved ones to call 1-866-535-5654. The FBI is also asking anyone who has pictures or videos from the shooting to call 1-800-255-5324.
The city of Las Vegas has established a Family Reunification Center to help connect relatives with the more than 500 people who were injured. City officials also asked local residents who want to donate blood to visit donation centers operated by United Blood Services, located at either 6930 W. Charleston in Las Vegas or at 601 Whitney Ranch Dr. in nearby Henderson, N.V.