Dee Jay Silver on Las Vegas Shooting: 'It's Time to Stop the Hate'

Country touring favorite's 1-year-old son was just a few rooms away from shooter at Mandalay Bay hotel

Dee Jay Silver was onstage with Jason Aldean when the mass shooting began in Las Vegas on Sunday night. Credit: Rick Diamond/Getty Images

Dee Jay Silver was onstage with Jason Aldean in Las Vegas Sunday night just moments before a gunman opened fire on the crowd at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, leaving 59 dead and about 500 injured. The DJ and recording artist, whose real name is John Perdue, was walking offstage to find his wife Jenna when the shooting began and ran to a nearby tour bus for safety. That's when he discovered that his son, 1-year-old Wake, was with his wife's aunt on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort, just a few rooms – and a few hundred feet – away from the shooter, Stephen Paddock.

With the keys accessing the rooms on that floor deactivated, SWAT officers kicked the door in, grabbed the baby and ran out. "The whole time I knew this, but I couldn't tell my wife because she would have been [scared]," he told ET Online. After taking time to process the events of the past couple of days, Silver has now released an official statement:

"The last couple days have been extremely rough and filled with every emotion imaginable. I'm still trying to process what happened and how someone could do this in Las Vegas, a city I call my second home, and at a music festival, a place that brings so much happiness and joy to thousands from all over.

"What I do know is that we as Americans are strong people, good people, hard-working people and in times of need, we have each other's backs! There is too much division in this country and we must come together, unite, and live as one nation. As a new father trying to raise a son in this world, I pray for change; a change that must start today!

"My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected by this cowardly act. Nothing I can say will help with the pain, just please know that you’re in every thought and prayer. We will get through this together. I also need to give special thanks to the first responders, police and all who helped get my family together to safety. We are beyond grateful and lucky."

He concluded the statement with an impassioned plea for unity, writing: "It's time to stop the hate, set aside any differences that we may have and come together as Americans! It's time we come together as one!"

On Tuesday, the performer's wife posted a photo of Wake on Instagram, with a similar message and the closing line: "It's time to just love each other."  

Wake is our whole soul & reason for living. He was in our room at Mandalay Bay last night, 3 doors down from the shooter on the 32nd floor. While John & I were at the festival, ducking behind buses, not knowing what was happening & fearing for our lives, our sweet baby slept through the horrific sounds coming from just down the hall that have now forever changed us. Thank you to the first responders who beat the door in & to my Aunt Mary who was watching him & protecting him all the way to safety. We were separated for the most traumatic several hours of my life while John & I & everyone from Jason's camp did what they could to reunite our family & help those who weren't nearly as lucky as us. My mom was also separated from us but was safe & is back with us. I'm still in shock & having a hard time gathering proper words for those who didn't make it & their families. I can't fathom the pain. Thank you to everyone who helped the injured so selflessly. Not everyone, including myself, is that brave. We are holding each other tight today & everyday. It's time to just love each other. 💙

A post shared by Jenna Perdue (@_jennamichelle_) on