Back

John Rich Gave His Personal Gun to an Off-Duty Police Officer During Las Vegas Shooting

"I handed over my firearm to him, everybody got behind him and for about two hours without flinching, this guy kept a point on that front door just in case somebody came through," Rich recalled. 

Written by Lauren Laffer
John Rich Gave His Personal Gun to an Off-Duty Police Officer During Las Vegas Shooting
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 01: Recording artist John Rich of Big & Rich performs during the Route 91 Harvest country music festival at the Las Vegas Village on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Mindy Small/FilmMagic)

The scene in Las Vegas was a harrowing one as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock took aim at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, killing nearly 60 people and injuring more than 500. In light of his dark act of evil, many stories of heroism continue to surface in the aftermath of the shooting.

In an interview with FOX NewsJohn Rich of Big & Rich shared his experience from the night, highlighting a lone off duty officer who protected him and patrons of his Redneck Riviera bar.

“We played about 90 minutes to two hours before Jason Aldean, and so we had actually loaded up our bus and there’s a little country bar that I have in Las Vegas that I own and we went over there as Big & Rich and Cowboy Troy to play a little after show set. We were over there, onstage there, and got the tap on the shoulder that there was an active shooter. What they told us was that they thought there were multiple active shooters and didn’t know where they were. So we immediately stopped playing and got everybody away from the windows and tried to secure the location,” explained Rich to the news outlet.

“In the bar that I have, we have a big emphasis on veterans and active duty,” he continued. “I have a lot of police officers that come and hang out there, and so I actually had a Minneapolis police officer, off duty, that was in my bar hanging out and he came up to me and he showed me his badge and he says, ‘I’m officer,’ I forget his last name, but ‘I’m an officer and I am not armed for the first time ever, I can’t believe it. Are you armed?’ I said, ‘yes, sir, I am armed. I have my concealed weapons permit and yes I am armed.’ He says ‘Can I have your firearm so I can hold point on this front door.’ So I handed over my firearm to him, everybody got behind him and for about two hours without flinching, this guy kept a point on that front door just in case somebody came through.”

After the ordeal had passed and he was able to wrap his head around what had happened, Rich reached out on Twitter to help track down the stranger who’d been so vigilant and brave.

“Will the off duty officer that used my side arm to protect entrance @RNRBarVegas last night pls contact me? Pls retweet and pass the word,” he requested.

Within an hour and a half, Rich had located the officer, who wished to maintain his anonymity.

The act of heroism is just one of many coming from the shooting at Route 91 Harvest Festival. Stories of people using their bodies to shield others, opening their cars for strangers, and coming to the aid of those with injuries are just some of the many things people did for one another in the aftermath.

Those interested in helping the victims of the shooting, can make a donation to the Las Vegas Victims’ Fund or the Music City Cares Fund through the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.