Five years after a lone gunman opened fire from a Las Vegas hotel on a crowd of country music festivals, there is little rest and no answers for what caused the massacre of dozens of people – The worst mass shooting in America since when.
Today, the memorial in the northeast corner of the festival grounds turned into a murder scene is still in the planning stages by Clark County government officials, who hope the victims of the October 1, 2017 bloodshed will not be forgotten.
Memories of that massacre still haunt country music executive J.R. Schumann.
“Save your life! As fast as you can!” The former SiriusXM CEO recounted in an exclusive interview with The Post that he cried when the inexplicable shooting spree broke out at Route 91 Harvest on October 1, 2017.
Schumann managed to avoid gunfire and protect his staff behind the scenes as bullets flew while country singer Jason Aldean performed the final show at the three-day festival.
At the end of the rampage of the gunman, 58 of the attendees were killed and 869 others were wounded.
It will probably never happen To be a known motive. Shooter Stephen Paddock, 64, killed himself in his room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino.
Schumann said he “didn’t even know it was gunfire at first,” recalling that the spray of bullets on the platform exploded like a “sound boom” followed by a “high-pitched crack.”
Confused and frightened, Schumann said he called his boss when the shooting stopped for a moment — then shouted seconds later, “Oh my God, it’s still happening!”
He said he ended the call to take himself and his team to safety — and tried to call his mother, aunt, and uncle. Nobody answered.
The SiriusXM engineering team was recording Aldean’s performance for replays on popular country music station The Highway. Instead, Schumann and his team spent days after the massacre working with Camp Aldean to obtain the sound of the shooting and turn it over to the FBI.
Recently released docu series “11 minutes” Detailing the horrific events of that night, SiriusXM host Storme Warren, who was inside the festival grounds with Schumann and members of the SiriusXM crew.
“There’s a very heavy weight that comes with being a storyteller,” says an emotional Warren in the series.
“So much responsibility to say it the right way. I’ve had five years with this story and these memories. And it’s important to take care of him. It’s important for people to know the truth out of our respect for those we’ve lost, those injured, and those who still have mental and physical scars.”
“For me the story wasn’t about the shooter, it was about people helping each other. People help people,” Warren says. “For me that is the only story that has to be told.”
The 91st Harvest Route Festival was never held again. Warren described the recent event as the one that drew 20,000 fans to hear the “latest, hottest, biggest” stars of country music.
During the deadly chaos on the Las Vegas Strip, people believed “shooters are everywhere” and the streets became engulfed by scrambling casino-goers who swarmed out of hotels and festival-goers striving for their lives, the docu series tells.
It also sets a timeline for the astonishing attack, indicating at 10:05 p.m. the first shot was heard, a second later, there was a second gunfire, followed by a third shot seconds later.
Confusion and chaos continue as reports of potential explosives, a multitude of active shooters, and the sense of a coordinated attack on Las Vegas become what officers believe they are responding to.
At 10:07 p.m., a fourth wave of shooting erupted, as the schedule in the docu series shows.
“They are coming from Mandalay Bay,” officers on the ground can identify the documentary reports. “Here! Here! Do you see those flashes?”
“Mandalay Bay! Halfway up! I see shots coming from Mandalay Bay, halfway. “
At 10:09 p.m., a fifth burst of gunfire was recorded – and more frantic exchanges of policemen. At 10:11 p.m., a sixth shooting was recorded, followed by a second later seventh shooting rounds.
As Schumann and the SiriusXM team members ran for their lives, the music executive said he stopped in front of a dead body, and realized he had lost track of his teammates. He went back to the fenced festival grounds, found his team — and they kept running, he said.
Schumann knew he needed to move his team to the Mandalay Bay hotel rooms to rest and start tackling what to do next. Laptops, backpacks, and identifiers were all located at what became America’s most active crime scene.
More than 24 hours later, Schumann, who had not slept, said he turned to his team and said, “I can have a drink.”
He said they drove around Margaritaville late Monday, listening to Jimmy Buffett and drinking sharks for a few hours before messing around with the FBI and figuring out how to get home.
SiriusXM hosts Al Skop and Buzz Brainard and his son knew they had to run as the shooting started.
“I don’t even know which direction we should go,” Scobb recalls to The Post. “We’re back away from the strip.”
Scoop and the others dodged the bullets, and ended up on the second floor of a comedy club in the Tropicana. The doors were locked and a large TV screen above the podium was broadcast live.
“Honestly, this is where things got weird. It was the ‘Lord of the Flies’ situation.” Scoop recalls this mini-world of everyone in a small room with closed doors. “Everyone was wondering what would happen next.”
Scoop will eventually meet Schumann and other members of the SiriusXM crew. He remembers coming home from the Vegas terror he just experienced for his family late Monday night.
It will be a week later when the hosts of The Highway take to the airwaves again and reunite at Margaritaville in Nashville for “Music Row Healing Hour.”
“It was a group therapy session at Margaritaville,” Scope said.
Events are planned across Las Vegas on Saturday to honor the victims of a mass shooting that survivors cannot forget.
“It was and is now a history and event that none of us will ever forget. While the memories of that night remain painful with us, there is no doubting the stories of the incredible bravery, heroism and strength of so many that night, and ever since is what is truly etched in my mind,” Chairman Mandalay Bay Operations Director Chuck Pauling told the newspaper.
“Everyone in this community and around the world stood together to help us get through this. We are all so grateful.”