Entertainment Jason Aldean Recalls in Harrowing Detail the 2017 Vegas Shooting in '11 Minutes' Doc

02:41  28 september  2022
02:41  28 september  2022 Source:   etonline.com

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  Jason Aldean Recalls in Harrowing Detail the 2017 Vegas Shooting in '11 Minutes' Doc © Paramount +

Jason Aldean is opening up in excruciating detail about the carnage he witnessed -- and the carnage he desperately tried to get his wife, Brittany Aldean, to divert her eyes from -- the night Stephen Paddock opened fire on Oct. 1, 2017 as the country star closed out the Route 91 Festival in Las Vegas.

The "Dirt Road Anthem" singer makes the revelations in a Paramount+ four-part docuseries titled 11 Minutes, which is the amount of time the gunman fired his weapon down at the crowd from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel. The shooting left 58 people dead and more than 800 injured.

"There was this time period of just really not knowing where everybody was, how they were," Aldean says in the doc. "It was pretty scary."

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For the first time, fans will see what Aldean and his wife, who was eight months pregnant at the time, went through to get to their tour bus.

"So, we're running and we got about halfway up the side of the bus, he started shooting again and my wife froze up and dropped," Aldean shares. "And I just grabbed her under the arms and carried her up to the door."

The documentary, which premiered Tuesday and four days shy of the five-year anniversary of the shooting, includes never-before-seen police bodycam footage and 200 hours of cell phone video that plays out in the four-part series. Some of the bodycam footage includes cops on the scene directing Aldean and his family as they sought cover from the relentless spray of bullets.

"And then I remember finally, some cops came to the bus," Aldean recalls. "They took us into a parking lot. The police had an armored vehicle there. You just know it's not good. It looks like a bomb went off. I told my wife, 'Keep your head down. Look at your feet. Don't look around, and let's get out of here.'"

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Six months after the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, Aldean opened up to ET about how the devastating attack affected him, explaining, "I think it makes you kinda grow up in a lot of ways."

"I'm 40 years old but sometimes it takes us guys a while to grow up. Something like that happens and it sorta makes you look at a lot of things different and realize how short life is and it kinda makes you get your act together a little bit," he said at the time. "It definitely did that for me."

Nashville recording artist Dee Jay Silver, who moments before the shooting began was on the very same stage where Aldean was performing when the shooting started, describes in the documentary what he saw as police led his group to safety.

"The police officer walked us through the middle of the crowd towards the airport," he says. "We saw the carnage that's left. Literally stepping over bodies to get out of there."

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Two days after the shooting, Silver spoke with ET and recalled the exact moment he and his wife, Jenna, learned that their then 1-year-old son, Wake, was just a few hotel rooms down from where the shooter opened fire.

"I walked offstage like every day, took my in-ears out ... and walked offstage to find my wife," Dee Jay explained at the time to ET. "We heard a pop and I thought my ears were wrong. Then, a few more and then, 'Get down, get down.' Long story short, we ended up on a tour bus and laid on the floor and I get a text, 'What room is your kid in?' I said, '32-130.' He said, 'The shooter's in 32-135, a couple hundred feet [away].'"

Silver quickly knew "there were just no options," especially after immediately realizing it would be logistically impossible for him to get to his child, what with him literally caught in the middle of a mass shooting, and also by the fact that the hotel keys to access the floor at the Mandalay Bay had been deactivated.

Fortunately, "SWAT walked in and kicked in the door and grabbed the baby, ran out," he recalled. "The whole time I knew this, but I couldn't tell my wife because she would've been [scared]."

He said he was feeling "every emotion in the world" at that moment.

"I went blank," Silver explained. "I didn't know how to react. Everyone around is screaming and crying and I didn't want to add to it. The whole time I didn't have anyone to ask the advice of what to do. The phone was dead and everything imaginable that you think can run through [you] times 10."

11 Minutes is streaming now on Paramount+.


Jason Aldean on How Las Vegas Shooting Changed Him as an Artist and a Man

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