Eric Church broke down in tears when he opened up about the Las Vegas shooting for the first time Wednesday night at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee.
The country singer performed last Friday at the festival where, two days later, the deadliest shooting in American history took place.
Church tearfully recounted the experience on Wednesday, honoring a fan who lost his life attending the Route 91 Harvest music festival.
“Forty-eight hours later, [in] those places where I stood, was carnage,” he said. “those were my people, those were my fans.”
“I didn’t want to be here tonight,” Church said. “I didn’t want to play my guitar.”
The singer changed his mind after he saw a video of a woman whose husband was gunned down in Las Vegas speaking to Anderson Cooper on CNN while wearing one of his t-shirts. Heather Melton lost her husband, Sonny Melton, in Las Vegas after he got shot in the back saving her life. Heather said she and Sonny went to the music festival so her husband could see Church perform. They also had tickets to see Church play at the Opry.
“Over here in section three, row F, if you’re there in row F there’s some empty seats, and that’s their seats,” he said. “The reason I’m here tonight is because of Healther Melton and her husband Sonny who died.”
“What I saw that moment in time is frozen,” he said. “There’s no amount of bullets that can take that away. That night something broke in me, and the only way I’ve ever been able to fix anything is with music,” he said before playing a song he wrote the night before in honor of the concert goers and police officers who lost their lives.