Jack Johnson
 

Jack Johnson

CNN Music & Art

 
Eddie Van Halen donates guitars to public schools
 

Eddie Van Halen

CNN Music & Art

 
Ben Harper takes on police shootings on latest album
 

Ben Harper

CNN Music & Art

 

Bryan Hopkins on Las Vegas Mass Shooting

Las Vegas (CNN) The deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

Jason Aldean was headlining the final night of the Route 91 Harvest Festival.

He was a few songs into his set when shots rang out from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel.

Thousands of rounds were fired by a 64-year-old man killing 58 people and injuring more than 500 others.

elvis monroe

The band Elvis Monroe played earlier in the day. Lead singer, Bryan Hopkins, was in the crowd with everyone else watching Aldean perform.

Initially, he thought the hail of bullets was fireworks until he saw people falling around him.

Hopkins told CNN’s Erin Burnett, “We see a guy right in front of us goes down. Then, another person goes down: guys. I turn, bang-bang, two girls go down behind us. Ten feet and four feet (away). Then, my guitar player grabs my shoulder and says, ‘Let’s go.'”

Hopkins made a run for it. “I grabbed the two girls that are standing in front of me and took them with me because there’s a massive crowd that’s turning and running at us — and they’re coming at us from all angles.”

Hopkins had just been backstage and knew how to get to the artists’ entrance.

He led the girls and, by now, a growing flock of people in that direction. The sound of bullets were whizzing off the metal stage.

“We go around a tent and we hit fences that are this high (reaching above his head),” Hopkins said. “The girls start crying.”

Hopkins saw a trailer nearby with people in it. He lifted as many people into it as he could and shut the door.

“Now, it’s trying to keep everybody calm,” he said. Not an easy task because no one knows where the shots are coming from or if the gunman will follow them inside.

The trailer, as it turned out, was actually a walk-in freezer. For many seemingly endless minutes, the group huddled.

“So everybody’s cold and everybody’s scared,” Hopkins said. “I keep telling everybody that everything’s gonna be OK.”

But with one of the women inside freaking out, Hopkins opened the door to check on the situation outside. All he heard was the pop-pop-pop of automatic gunfire.

vegas shooting

“As I look at a friend in the corner, ‘This is not where I’m going. Not here,'” he told himself.

Finally, Hopkins decided to make a break. The two girls never left his side.

“As I said, ‘Let’s run,’ I look right, left, a police officer is running right at me, sweating, screaming, ‘This way! This way! This way!'” he recounts.

“As soon as I pass him, he’s not behind me, he’s running where everybody else is. He’s running to the fire. He’s running into it.”

One of many heroes that night.

Hopkins told the girls to “run into the dark.” They did. Bodies all around them. They made it out alive.

58 music lovers did not.

“When (the girls) got home, they called me and said, ‘Thank you.'”

One of their dads got on the line, too. He cried.

We all mourn.

October 1, 2017.

#VegasStrong

Written and produced by: Ben Bamsey for CNN’s breaking news coverage of the Vegas massacre.

elvis monroe 2

Leave a Comment

*