Jason Aldean returned to Las Vegas exactly one week after he performed at the Route 91 Harvest Festival across from the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, where a gunman opened fire from the hotel and injured more than 500 in attendance, killing at least 58.
“Feels surreal being back in Vegas today. Visiting some of the strongest people we have ever met… fighting the toughest battle of them all… for their lives,” she wrote along with a photo of the couple facing the Mandalay Bay.
“You have helped us try to begin to start the healing process by seeing the strength each one of you have. Thank you for today. We will never forget,” said the mother-to-be, who is expecting a baby boy in December.
On Oct. 1, Aldean, 40, was performing the closing set at the outdoor country music festival that was at the end of its third day when gunman Stephen Paddock fired bullets from his 32nd-floor hotel room at the Mandalay Bay on the crowd of more than 22,000 concertgoers.
The day before the Aldeans returned to Vegas, the country singer opened the Gal Gadot-hosted episode of Saturday Night Live by paying tribute to the victims of the mass shooting, as well as the late music legend Tom Petty.
“Like everyone, I’m struggling to understand what happened that night, and how to pick up the pieces and start to heal,” Aldean said before performing Petty’s 1989 hit “I Won’t Back Down.”
“So many people are hurting. There are children, parents, brothers, sisters, friends — they’re all part of our family. So I want to say to them: We hurt for you, and we hurt with you,” he continued. “When America is at its best, our bond and our spirit, it’s unbreakable.”
Days following the massacre, Aldean announced he canceled a series of concerts out of respect for the victims.
“It has been an emotional time for everyone involved this week, so we plan to take some time to mourn the ones we have lost and be close with our family and friends,” he said in a statement.
Aldean’s They Don’t Know Tour is scheduled to resume on Oct. 12 at BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
How to Help
Friends and family are asked to report missing people believed to be connected to the shooting using the hotline 1-800-536-9488.
Anyone with photo or video evidence of the shooting is asked to call 1-800-CALL-FBI. A victims’ fund has been started on GoFundMe by Steve Sisolak, the Clark County, Nevada, commission chair. Other groups providing relief include the local chapter of the American Red Cross and the National Compassion Fund.