Jason Aldean Mourns Death of Close Friend Who Pulled Him Offstage During Route 91 Shooting in Heartbreaking Tribute

by Keeli Parkey

Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2021, is a day Jason Aldean will probably never forget. According to what he shared on Instagram today, the country music star just lost someone very near and dear to him.

This special person is his close friend, Ryan Fleming. Not only were the two close friends, Fleming also helped keep Aldean safe during a very scary incident a few years ago. That incident was the tragic Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Oct. 1, 2017. Fifty-eight people were killed by a gunman that day. Hundreds were also wounded. The incident also left many, many others emotionally devastated.

Aldean was on stage when the shots were fired. And, when the shots rang out, it was Fleming, who Aldean also refers to as Rhino, who ran on stage to make sure Aldean and his team made it to safety.

In memory of his friend, Aldean shared photos of them together. He also added a very moving tribute.

“Man this is a hard post to write. We lost one of our boys today,” Jason Aldean shared on Instagram. “Ryan Fleming aka @rhinolin3 was a friend I grew up with in Georgia.”

Aldean also shared details about how his friend, Rhino, came to his assistance during the Route 91 shooting.

“He came out and traveled the world with us and for years if u saw me, Rhino wasn’t too far away,” Aldean also shared. “(Rhino) 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.”

Jason Aldean Said He Knew His Late Friend ‘Would Always Look Out for Me’

Based on what Jason Aldean shared on Wednesday, Ryan Fleming, a.k.a. Rhino, was a true and loyal friend to the country music star. Aldean also shared some information about his friend’s background.

“He was a bouncer at our favorite bar in Macon when he was 18, then went to work for the (sheriff’s department) as he got older,” Aldean said.

As he became a star, it became clear to Jason Aldean that having loyal friends around him was important. So, he turned to Ryan Fleming to help keep him and his family safe.

“When it came time for me to hire a security guy that I knew would always look out for me and my family, there was no question for me that person was Rhino,” Aldean also posted.

Aldean closed his tribute to Fleming by praising the man Rhino was.

“He was a good man and an even better friend,” Jason Aldean also said. “We will all miss you brother and thank you for having my back all these years. We love ya Rhino! RIP.”