For the entirety of the nation, Monday brought gut punch after gut punch of bad news between the death of Tom Petty and the horrific and senseless mass shooting in Las Vegas that took the lives of 59 people, and injured more than 500. The shooting took place at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, a country music festival where country star Jason Aldean was performing during the time of the massacre. The entire country has outpoured in grief, and now the organizers of the festival have released an official statement.
“On behalf of the entire Route 91 Harvest Family, we are completely devastated by the event that occurred Sunday night,” says the statement. “Our deepest sympathies go out to the injured and the deceased and their loved ones. Senseless violence has claimed the souls of our fans and we have little in the way of answers.”
The statement also made a point to show gratitude to the first responders who risked their lives during the shooting. “Our eternal gratitutde goes out to the [Las Vegas Police Department], emergency services, security guards, and fans for their selfless acts of bravery while trying to help those in need.”
Despite the tragedy, festival organizers had a resilient message for readers. “While we will try and move forward, we will never forget this day,” they said. “We will not let hate win over love. We will not be defeated by senseless violence. We will persevere, and honor the souls that were lost. Because it matters.”
The three-day country music festival was first launched in 2014, and is an open air festival in Las Vegas. Jason Alden was performing Sunday night when Stephen Paddock opened fire with an automatic weapon into the crowd of over 22,000 people from his hotel room across the street. The country music festival’s website has been scrubbed and currently only shows the image of an orange ribbon in honor of the victims.