A gunman opened fire at a country music festival in Las Vegas on Oct. 1, killing at least 50 people and injuring more than 400 others — making it the deadliest mass shooting in US history. Dan Bilzerian, a social media star known as the “King of Instagram” was backstage when the massacre started. He told People magazine, “It sounded like firecrackers, which is what it sounds like when supersonic bullets are flying over your head.” As concertgoers realized they were being shot at, everyone fled. “I was pretty calm, all things considered,” he said, “but I definitely ran to safety.”
The 36-year-old — who is a notorious gun fanatic — documented the scene on Instagram around 10 p.m. local time. “F–k, this girl just got shot in the f–king head,” Dan recounted to his 22.7 million followers in the first video. “So f–king crazy.”
About an hour later, the Instagram star posted another clip offering further details into what he saw at the Route 91 Festival. “So I had to go grab a gun,” he said. “I’m f–king headed back. It’s f–king so crazy — some kind of mass shooting. F–king guy had a heavy caliber weapon for sure.” He added, “Saw a girl got f–king shot in the face right next to me, her brains hanging out. Stupid a– me didn’t bring a gun.”
Three years ago, Dan was arrested at LAX for reportedly making a bomb. An arrest warrant issued in Clark County, NV, charged the professional poker player with possessing an explosive device with the intent to manufacture an explosive. According to the criminal complaint, the Instagram sensation had ammonium and aluminum powder that, when combined with ammonium nitrate mix, “acts like pure TNT.”
Although some people are criticizing the star for his pro-gun beliefs, Dan said he would return to the scene in a heartbeat. “It was a pretty strong wake up call,” he told People. “This stuff can happen without warning anywhere. It’s not smart to get caught without a gun. I don’t think it was heroic at all,” he said. “I just wanted to do the right thing.” Currently, there are a bevy of pro-gun laws moving through Congress, which will make it easier for people to buy, own, and use weapons.
Jason Aldean, who was performing at the time of the shooting, issued a statement following the tragedy. Read it in the video below. And for those trying to locate loved ones, call 1-866-535-5654.