Toledo area musician reflects on Las Vegas massacre, holds benefit concert for victims

Published: Oct. 29, 2017 at 10:32 PM EDT
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Sylvania native Josh McAfee says images of the Las Vegas shooting are forever etched in his mind.

"Just watching people's faces and just the panic and the trauma that's just happening and unfolding everywhere you look, and it was just terrible," said McAfee.

McAfee and his band performed at the Route 91 Harvest Festival just hours before the attack.

He was standing near the main stage when a gunman opened fire, killing 58 people and injuring hundreds more.

"It was just pure panic and we were just running for our lives," said McAfee.

While trying to escape the chaos, McAfee was frantically trying to get in touch with his loved ones in the Toledo-area.

His girlfriend recalls the chilling voice mail she got from him as he fled the violence.

"He's talking to me just saying, 'I don't know what's happening. There's a shooter here. I love you. I don't know what's going to happen, but I want you to know that I love you,'" said Angel Edwards.

Fortunately, McAfee escaped that horrific day unharmed and Sunday he did his part to help those who didn't.

Along with his girlfriend, McAfee and other Toledo-area bands performed at Civic Music Hall raising money for victims of the mass shooting.

"The event really just resonates with me and I wanted to do something to help raise money for the victim who weren’t as fortunate as my band mates and I," said McAfee.

Although they live in Nashville now, McAfee and his girlfriend say it was important to play back home as many people in Toledo have ties to that tragedy.

"This affected somebody from home," said Edwards. "So, I think this hits home, here, but it's really great knowing that our community can gather over their own and be able to help and stand for something that's even bigger than ourselves."

After venue costs, money raised from Sunday's concert will go toward hospital bills, therapy costs and funeral expenses for victims of the Las Vegas massacre.