Footage filmed by fan Hannah Dorfman shows Aldean singing while the sound of automatic gunfire can be heard. The band continues to play, before the sound stops and they realise what is going on.
Aldean runs off stage for cover. The same moment has been captured from multiple angles on eyewitness video, showing a dawning realisation the sound is not pyrotechnics or part of the show. In one video people can be heard yelling “get down” and “don’t push”, while many described covering their loved ones to protect them. Later, more frantic scenes appeared on social media with reports of people delivering first aid in the open and running to hide anywhere they can.
‘I thought this is it’
Eyewitnesses including an Australian family and a professional poker player have spoken about how they feared for their lives during the massacre. Brenton Wingard said he had been to the same concert four years in a row when he heard what he thought was firecrackers.
“Everyone started looking around and up in the sky thinking it was firecrackers. Then we heard it again, tap-taptap,” he said. “I thought it was coming from somewhere near the toilets.”
“The third time we heard it, I saw someone on the ground being given CPR. I thought to myself what the hell is going on?” The brother of South Australian Sport and Racing Shadow Minister Corey Wingard said he hid under some bleachers with his wife and friends after ripping off the cladding to crawl inside.
“We crawled under there and waited five minutes, which seemed like forever when we heard thuds from above us,” Brenton said. “I thought this is it, this is the end, but it was just someone who told us I get out and run. I asked him whether it was safe and he said ‘I don’t know, but the shooting has stopped and know is the best time to go. So we crawled out and took off across the field where people had been shot. Bodies were lying there and others were being hauled off in make shift stretchers.”
“We didn’t see any police until we got to the back of the stage where there were two officers ducking behind a car ... They just said keep running.”
‘They were unloading clip after clip’
Eyewitness reports on social media showed people recalling hearing bursts of gunfire from a high vantage point and not being able to tell where it was coming from. A young man and woman who were at the Jason Aldean performance saying there were “bullets flying everywhere”.
“Everybody was running it was really, really, really bad,” the young man said. “They were ricocheting everywhere. They were firing from somewhere high and they were unloading clip after clip after clip. It was hundreds of shots ... people are still running scared.”