Jake Owen Says He’s a ‘Changed Guy’ Following Route 91 Harvest Festival Shooting: “Why Wasn’t It Me?”

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On the night of October 1, Jake Owen was side-stage watching Jason Aldean perform the festival-closing set for the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas when the shooting began. Months later, Jake Owen says that night has changed him forever.

“I’m a changed guy … 100 percent,” Jake said in an interview with Taste of Country.

58 people were killed and 851 people were injured that night after Stephen Paddock opened fire from the Mandalay Bay hotel. Since then, Jake shared that he’s had the opportunity to meet some of the victims.

“I have met many of the victims from Vegas in the last few weeks. They are just innocent people who came out to see a show and hear music that night, and now they are in a wheelchair and can’t walk,” Jake said. “I was there with those people. Why wasn’t it me?”

He shared that the incident gave him perspective both personally and professionally. “Now I look out into the crowd of people coming out to enjoy a show differently. They are not only coming out to see an artist they like, but some of them are coming out to escape a little from everyday life,” he said. “They are there to create memories with the people they love.”

Jake shared a photo on Instagram after the shooting of a fortune he received in a fortune cookie, saying: “Stopped to grab lunch today and this was my fortune… signs keep reminding me how important music is to our world and how we all can touch the lives of many people.”