TWIN LAKES, WI - JULY 23: Big Kenny and John Rich of Big and Rich performs during Country Thunder - Day 4 on July 23, 2017 in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Country Thunder)
Tricia Despres, Rare Country
Big & Rich are known for always bringing the party, and they did just that as they performed on the same night as artists such as Jason Aldean, Jake Owen and Kane Brown at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas on Oct. 1.
And then the party ended when a shooter opened fire on the crowd.
“We played 90 minutes to two hours before Jason Aldean,” John Rich told Fox News about the tragic events that occurred late that night. “We loaded up our bus, and there is a little country bar I have in Las Vegas that I own [Redneck Riviera], and we went over there to play a little after-show set. We were onstage there and got the tap on the shoulder that there was an active shooter. We immediately stopped playing and got everyone away from the windows and tried to secure the location.”
Standing in that crowd at the bar that evening was a Minneapolis police officer, who was on hand just to enjoy a little live music. For one of the first times, he did not have his weapon on him. So he walked up to John and asked him a scary question.
“He came up to me and showed me his badge and he says, ‘I’m an officer and I am not armed’ and asked me, ‘Are you armed?’” John recalled. “I said, ‘Yes sir, I am. I am armed.’ I have my concealed weapon permit. And he said, ‘Can I have your firearm so I can hold point on the front door?’ So I handed over my firearm to him. Everyone got behind him and, for about two hours without flinching, this guy kept point on that front door just in case someone came through.”