Country music singer Jason Aldean is mourning the death of his longtime friend Ryan Fleming, who also worked as his security guard. Fleming also happened to be the man who pulled him off the stage when shots were fired at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in 2017. The country singer posted on Instagram several photos of the duo together, announcing that he had passed away, but there was no cause of death listed.
He described the Fleming, nicknamed Rhino, as a friend from growing up in Georgia who had previously worked as a bouncer and for a sheriff's office. He stated that when it came to hiring a security guard there wasn't any question that Fleming would look out for him and his family.
"He was the person who pulled me offstage during the Route 91 shooting and put his life in danger to take care of me and my crew," Aldean wrote. "He was a good man and an even better friend. We will all miss you brother and thank you for having my back all these years."
Several of Aldean's former tourmates and friends, such as Russell Dickerson, Chuck Wicks and others, commented on his Instagram post sending condolences. Brittany Aldean also honored him with an Instagram post of her own.
"What a ride we were on ... traveling the world, joking every step of the way. I will love and miss you forever," she writes. "Thank you for protecting us. You are family, forever and always. Our hearts are broken. I know you're up in heaven with your Mama and Poncho 🐶 Lord knows they've missed you. Till we meet again my friend. Love you so much💔💔💔."
The singer-songwriter was on stage performing his set at the music festival in Las Vegas on October 1 when a series of shots were fired into the crowd from The Mandalay Bay Hotel Tower. The tragic event led to 58 people killed and hundreds injured in what became the deadliest mass shooting in US history.
Since the shooting, two additional people have died from the injuries that they sustained in the incident. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department recognizes the death toll as a total of 60. Authorities stated that 64-year-old Stephen Paddock was the gunman behind the shooting, and was found dead in his room from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The motive behind the event still remains undetermined.