Jake Owen was backstage when a gunman opened fire on the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas, Nev., on Sunday night (Oct. 1). He'd played earlier that evening, and in an interview with CBS News, the country star says that the fear triggered by such an event can't be a driving force in its aftermath.

“I think it’s our duty as entertainers out here in the world to stand up [to] this sort of thing,” Owen says. “They can’t keep us down. We’re not going to live in fear, not going to continue to do this, because I think part of being entertainers is bringing happiness to people.”

On Sunday night, Owen was tweeting as the shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival was taking place. He tells CBS that he was "in the middle of it."

Country Stars Respond Following Route 91 Harvest Festival Shooting

"When the shots started being fired and you could hear it ricocheting off the top of the roof of the stage, we started just running in any direction we could, because you didn’t know where it was coming from," Owen recalls. "You didn’t know if someone was on the ground; you didn’t know where it was coming from."

More than 50 people were killed and more than 500 people were injured in the shooting. Owen says he remembers seeing "the fear in everyone’s eyes" but also noticing that "everyone [was] looking for someone to make sure they’re okay."

"I never thought it would be something that would be at a country music concert, something that we do day in and day out, every weekend," Owen says. "There’s families out there. There’s kids on their parents’ shoulders. And that’s not what America’s supposed to be like.”

Remembering the Route 91 Harvest Festival Shooting Victims