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A Man Shared A Gut-Wrenching Account Of A Dad Who Deplaned A Flight After Learning His Son Died In Vegas

He has not stopped thinking about the chilling moment since.

Posted on October 2, 2017, at 2:57 p.m. ET

Jim Trotter, an NFL reporter for ESPN, was on a flight from Denver to San Diego Monday morning. While waiting to board, he said he observed the heartbreaking moment a father learned that his son was killed in Las Vegas, he told BuzzFeed News.

Jim Trotter

Trotter was scheduled to leave from Denver at around 11 a.m. Monday. However, when last-minute seats were available for an 8 a.m. flight, he rushed to make it.

As he and another passenger waited at the top of the ramp to board, he saw a middle-aged man in a button-down shirt and jeans running off of the plane.

"All of a sudden this guy pushed open the gate from the other side," Trotter told BuzzFeed News. "A gate attendant said, 'Sir,' repeatedly but he didn't respond. He put his stuff down on a chair. You could tell something was going on."

"He kept shaking his head, staring at the door," Trotter said of the man.

He said employees and others looked on confused and concerned. One gate attendant apparently went to speak with the man and began consoling him and rubbing his back.

Trotter said when he and the other passenger began boarding the plane, a flight attendant discreetly told them the man had just been informed his son was among those shot in Las Vegas, and he had died.

Mike Blake / Reuters

"My heart breaks for him," Trotter said, adding that the flight attendant was shaken up. "It was surreal."

Worst flight EVER. After boarding, a man deplaned when he learned his son was killed in the Las Vegas shootings. My heart breaks for him.

He described the father as someone who seemed in complete "disbelief".

Trotter suspected the man chose to deplane immediately after receiving the news, and then proceeded to sit in the airport.

Trotter said he couldn't stop thinking about this chilling moment during the flight.

"All I could think about is how it could have been my daughters ... you wonder what's going on in this world," he said.

When Trotter landed and gave the account to BuzzFeed News, he broke down in tears and said he wish he could have gone back "to give him a hug."

"I'm not sure he would have wanted me to reach out to him at the time," he said. But now he wished he did.

"I don't know if there's anything I can say to that heart breaks for him."

Trotter's brief account has many, particularly parents, in tears.

If you are a father and read this, I don't know how you can hold it together this morning.

A spokesperson for Southwest Airlines told BuzzFeed News that the company's employees "are with everyone affected by the tragedy in Las Vegas."

This is bone-chilling.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.