CMA Awards Begin With Moment of Silence for Thousand Oaks Shooting Victims

Garth Brooks said the victims were "lost too soon" and urged viewers and the audience to "celebrate their lives." He then took off his hat and asked everyone to join him in a moment of silence.

The 2018 Country Music Association Awards started with Garth Brooks leading a solemn tribute to the 12 people killed during a shooting at a Southern California country music bar last week.

"On behalf of our country music community, I want to say that tonight's show is lovingly dedicated to the 12 individuals whom we lost too soon just a week ago tonight," Brooks said.

He urged viewers and the audience to "celebrate their lives." Brooks then took off his hat and asked everyone to join him in a moment of silence. The names of those killed were shown on a black screen for television audiences.

Authorities are still trying to determine what led a former Marine to attack the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks on Nov. 7 during a country music dance night that drew area college students and other young people.

The bloodshed was the latest in what seems to be a never-ending string of mass shootings that are happening with terrifying frequency across the United States.

It was the nation's deadliest such attack since 17 students and teachers were killed at a Parkland, Florida, high school nine months ago. It also came less than two weeks after a gunman massacred 11 people at a synagogue in Pittsburgh.

After the moment of silence, the show began with a rousing performance of Luke Bryan's song "What Makes You Country."