Dee Jay Silver Recalls the Terrifying Moment He Learned His Baby Was Doors Away From Vegas Shooter (Exclusive)
By Desiree Murphy
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Dee Jay Silver is still in shock over the tragic shooting that took place in Las Vegas on Sunday night.
In an exclusive interview with ET, the Nashville recording artist recalls the exact moment he and his wife, Jenna, learned that their 1-year-old son, Wake, was just a few hotel rooms down from where the shooter, Stephen Paddock, opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort around 10 p.m.
At the time of the shooting, country music star Jason Aldean was performing to a crowd at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival. Dee Jay Silver (real name John Perdue) was on the same stage just moments before the gunfire began, and his son was staying at the hotel with Jenna's Aunt Mary.
"I walked offstage like every day, took my in-ears out ... and walked offstage to find my wife," Dee Jay explains to ET's Nischelle Turner. "We heard a pop and I thought my ears were wrong. Then, a few more and then, 'Get down, get down.' Long story short, we ended up on a tour bus and laid on the floor and I get a text, 'What room is your kid in?' I said, '32-130.' He said, 'The shooter's in 32-135, a couple hundred feet [away].'"
Dee Jay continues on, telling ET that at that point, there was no way he could get baby Wake on his own. The hotel keys to access that floor had been deactivated.
"There were just no options. SWAT walked in and kicked in the door and grabbed the baby, ran out," he recalls. "The whole time I knew this, but I couldn't tell my wife because she would've been [scared]."
He says he was feeling "every emotion in the world" at that moment.
"I went blank," Dee Jay explains. "I didn't know how to react. Everyone around is screaming and crying and I didn't want to add to it. The whole time I didn't have anyone to ask the advice of what to do. The phone was dead and everything imaginable that you think can run through [you] times 10."
He says he and Jenna were being shuffled from trucks and vans and "running through crowds." They ultimately ended up at the Thomas & Mack Center, home to University of Nevada, Las Vegas' Runnin' Rebels basketball team.
"Every bus that pulled up, we were just looking for [Wake]," he remembers. "He just wasn't there and we got a call that he was at Town Center, I think is what they said, and we had a van, luckily enough, to come get us. I said, 'Where is Town Center?' And he said, 'It's right by where we're going.' This [now] is about three hours [in], not knowing where the kid is at and trying to find him. We literally picked him up at the side of the road."
"When we finally got to him, I held him until six in the morning," he continues. "I tweeted, 'Watching the Vegas sun coming up.' I've done it many times, don't get me wrong, but that time, holding my son and dead silence. I'll never forget, dead silence in Las Vegas, and just having my kid sitting on my shoulder."
Luckily, Dee Jay says that everyone is OK now.
"It's been a rough 48 hours, for sure," he admits. "Our whole crew, we left as a group and everyone's fine. The ones I haven't seen [today], we saw last night. Everyone's good."
"[Now we're] just waiting for them to release all of our stuff," he adds. "Our house keys and passports and stuff are all backstage. Like, we cant fly or anything without it. I told [Jenna] it would be good to just go home and go back to normal life. Don't let the baby know anything is wrong."
Dee Jay says he owes everything to the SWAT team, first responders and LVPD.
"The Vegas SWAT saved my kid's life," he tells ET. "It's hard to sit there and say how close it was, but [if] I hear someone say something bad about a police officer, we're going to have problems, you know? That's how... I just appreciate them. I don't know who they are, and I don't know if I ever will, but thank you ... thank you so much."