In an emotional speech at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, TN on Wednesday night (October 4), Eric Church opened up about the tragic shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas and dedicated a new song to one of the victims, Sonny Melton.
Melton saved his wife that night, shielding her from gunfire with his own body (via CNN).
Church recalled how he witnessed fans having fun and displaying their patriotism with American flags during his own set at Route 91 Harvest Festival.
“I shook everybody’s hand and I thanked them for coming,” Church said. “I came back up the left side, saw smiling faces, hands in the air and pictures being taken … 48 hours later, those places where I stood was carnage.”
Church continued, saying he watched an interview on CNN with Melton’s wife Heather, where she pointed out that her husband was a fan of Church.
Before launching into his new song, “Why Not Me,” Church pointed at two empty seats where Sonny and Heather Melton should have been seated, they had purchased tickets to the show.
“The reason I’m here tonight is because of Heather Melton, and her husband Sonny who died, and every person that was there,” Church said. “And I’ll tell you, I saw that crowd. I saw them with their hands in the air, with boots in the air, and that moment in time was frozen and there is no amount of bullets that can take that away.”
Watch fan footage of Church’s new song and emotional speech below.
Jackson Dodd contributed to this article.