The Ten Astroworld Victims Who Died Included A Boy As Young As 9
They ranged in age from 9 to 27, and family and friends shared their memories on social media.
Ten people died after attending Travis Scott’s Astroworld music festival in Houston on Friday night after the crowd of roughly 50,000 rushed the stage.
Eight of the victims died that night as people were crushed and trampled in what officials have described as a crowd surge. The ninth victim, 22-year-old Bharti Shahani, died from her injuries several days later, her family said. The death toll climbed to ten following the death of Ezra Blount, a 9-year-old believed to be the Astroworld tragedy’s youngest victim.
On Sunday, mourners gathered at a makeshift memorial for them outside the concert grounds. Here's what we know about them so far.
Brianna Rodriguez, 16
Her relative Iris Rodriguez wrote in a Facebook post that Brianna Rodriguez “was a beautiful vibrant 16-year-old high school junior” who attended Heights High School in Houston.
“Dancing was her passion and now she’s dancing her way to heaven’s pearly gates,” Iris wrote.
Brianna's family also set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for her funeral, and the page has already exceeded its initial $30,000 goal.
Brianna was also a member of her school’s band, which tweeted in her memory Saturday. “Brianna was someone who performed with the band and was someone who could always make anyone smile,” they wrote. “Although she’s gone and she cannot perform with us anymore, we know she’d want to still enjoy our time in heights.”
John Hilgert, 14
The youngest victim was 14-year-old John Hilgert, who attended Memorial High School in Spring Branch, Texas. Members of his community tied green ribbons around trees on the school’s campus in memory of him because green was his favorite color.
“This is a terrible loss, and the entire MHS family is grieving today. Please keep the student’s family in your thoughts and prayers as they face this tragedy,” the high school wrote in a letter to parents and students, KHOU reported.
Hilgert had attended the concert with his friend, 15-year-old Robby Hendrix.
“Everything about that night was a tragedy,” Hendrix's mother, Tracy Faulkner, told the Houston Chronicle. “John was a good student and athlete and so polite. He was the sweetest and smartest young man.”
“They were both in the same place at the same time," Faulkner added, "and one came home and one we will never see."
Hilgert’s former baseball coach Justin Higgs wrote a heartfelt Facebook post in his memory, saying Hilgert “was an angel a long time ago.”
“The kid impacted everyone that met him,” Higgs said. “Privileged to have had the opportunity to coach him during those seasons of his life. Building character in young men but learning from them at the same time. His chapter isn’t over he’s playing ball in the sky right now watching over all of us. He was that good at not just baseball but being himself. That was enough.”
As of Saturday afternoon, officials said 13 people were still hospitalized with injuries from the festival, including five who are under the age of 18. Among them is a 10-year-old, who is in critical condition.
Travis Scott released a statement Saturday, saying he’s “absolutely devastated” by Friday night’s events.
"My prayers go out to the families and all those impacted by what happened at Astroworld Festival," he said. "Houston PD has my total support as they continue to look into the tragic loss of life."
Rudy Peña, 23
Rudy Peña had traveled more than 300 miles from Laredo, Texas, for the festival.
One relative described him as always smiling. His sister told the Laredo Morning Times that he was a big Scott fan.
“My brother was the sweetest person, friendly, outgoing. He had many friends because he was always there for everyone,” Jennifer Peña told the news outlet.
Peña was a student at Laredo College, where he was studying criminology and hoped to one day work for US Customs and Border Protection, his family told the Rolling Stone.
His brother-in-law, Sergio Gonzalez, expressed the family's anger and confusion at all the questions yet to be answered.
“Who’s going to be held responsible? This rapper? The police department of Houston? The organizers of the concert?" Gonzalez told the Rolling Stone. "Something happened. We are watching videos of people in the audience trying to stop the concert, and nobody did anything."
"He was singing and Rudy was dying," Gonzalez added. "We have a lot of videos. Why did this happen? I want answers. All the family does.”
Danish Baig, 27
Danish Baig died while trying to protect his fiancé from the crowd, his brother Basil Baig said in a Facebook post. It was the kind of courageous and selfless act that was typical of him.
“My brother Danish Baig a beautiful soul whos smile would light up the room and put everyone before himself,” he wrote.
Basil said he was also at the event, and he blamed organizers and Scott for creating a dangerous situation.
“I was there and i wasnt able to save my brother,” Basil wrote. “People were hitting pushing and shoving and did not care for anyones life.”
He vowed to get justice for his brother, and he also asked friends and family to join him in praying. The funeral took place Sunday at the Colleyville Masjid in a suburb of Fort Worth, Texas.
Baig was the middle child of five siblings, and had immigrated to Texas from Pakistan when he was a baby, his brother Ammar Baig told People.
"He had a huge heart. He would take care of everybody," Ammar said. "He was basically the center that would bring everyone together. He was the funny one, the goofy one, the outgoing one. Our brothers and sisters have our own personalities, but he was the glue to it all."
Baig loved cars, music, video games, and the Dallas Cowboys, Ammar said. He was days away from his 28th birthday and had planned to rent a Lamborghini to celebrate. He loved his parents deeply and had made plans to give them quite a meaningful gift in just a few weeks.
"He was going to buy a house for my dad and my mom at the end of this month," Ammar said. "And he's not going to be there to get the house for them."
Axel Acosta, 21
Axel Acosta had just turned 21 and traveled to Houston from his home in the small city of Tieton, Washington, for Astroworld.
“His death was senseless and unnecessary,” said Tony Buzbee, an attorney representing his family. “Someone must, and will, be held accountable and responsible.”
Acosta, who was studying computer science at Western Washington University, had attended the event alone, and with his family out of state, authorities initially struggled to identify him. His father told ABC 13 that police made it difficult for him to file a missing person report from Washington.
Photos of Acosta’s face and his size 11 Nike sneakers were released by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences.
Franco Patino, 21
Franco Patino, a 21-year-old from Naperville, Illinois, was also killed at the concert Friday night. The Illinois native was a senior at the University of Dayton in Ohio, where he was studying mechanical engineering technology and was also a member of the Society of Professional Engineers.
Patino's father, Julio Patino, told the Daily Beast the last time he spoke to his son was on Friday afternoon, but when he couldn't get in touch with him again at the end of the night, he called the police.
“He had so many friends, so many people; everywhere he goes, he was shining,” Julio said.
Julio Patino Jr., an older brother of Franco's, told the New York Times that Franco was an active volunteer who gave back to his community.
“He was just that type of person,” he said. “He was always there for the people he cared about. He had a big heart.”
Jake Jurinek, 20
According to the Daily Beast, Franco Patino traveled to Houston for Astroworld with his friend Jake Jurinek, who also died Friday night. The two, who played football together at Neuqua High School in Naperville and stayed friends after graduating from high school, were at the festival celebrating Patino's birthday. Jurinek was a junior at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, where, according to his family, he was pursuing an education in art and media, working as a graphic arts and media intern in the athletic department.
Ron Jurinek, Jake's father, told ABC7 in a statement that his son was beloved by all of his family and friends for his "contagious enthusiasm, his boundless energy, and his unwavering positive attitude."
"We are all devastated and are left with a huge hole in our lives," he said. "Right now, we ask for the time and space for our family to process this tragic news and begin to heal. We're comforted by the fact that the hundreds of people Jake touched over the years will carry a piece of his spirit with them."
Madison Dubiski, 23
Madison Dubiski, 23, was a Texas native and former varsity cheerleader. She studied at Ole Miss and worked in marketing, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Dubiski's younger brother, Ty, with whom she went to the concert, reportedly tried to pull her out of the crowd, but they were separated amid the chaos.
In a Facebook post, her best friend Riley Dimeo said Dubiski "had a special way of making every single person she encountered in life feel special, appreciated, and accepted no matter what."
"I have never known such pure love and friendship until Madison came into my life and I’m not really sure how life will continue without her," Dimeo wrote. "If you were fortunate enough to know Mads you knew how beautiful, sweet, kind, generous, and loving she really was."
Bharti Shahani, 22
Bharti Shahani, a 22-year-old woman who was seriously injured at Astroworld Festival and showed no brain activity shortly after arriving at the hospital, died Wednesday, her family said.
"She was the head of the family. She was a very nice girl, always calm, always listened. And she had a bright future," her father, Sunny Shahani, said at an emotional news conference on Thursday before making a plea for justice.
She attended the sold-out festival with her sister Namrata Shahani and cousin Mohit Bellani. It was the first music festival the sisters had ever been to, Namrata said.
A student at Texas A&M University, Bharti changed her focus from chemical engineering to computer science after her first semester because she wanted to help her parents move their business online, her dad said. She was the "super glue" of the family who took care of her sisters and helped her father at his job, her cousin Bellani added.
Bharti had a special bond with Blue, the family's 2-year-old Husky, and had recently got into badminton.
"She was just very full of life, she enjoyed the smallest things," her sister Namrata said. "She never let anything stress her out or break her. She was just always put together."
Ezra Blount, 9
Ezra Blount, a 9-year-old from Dallas attended the festival with his father, Treston Blount, and watched the show while seated on his father's shoulders for what was meant to be a bonding experience.
The pair were separated after a crowd surge crushed attendees and left Treston unconscious and unable to find his young son.
Ezra was later discovered at Texas Children's Hospital where he had been admitted as a John Doe and placed in a medical coma due to the severity of his injuries which included swelling to the brain and organ damage.
Ezra passed away on Sunday making him the youngest known casualty. His death was confirmed by family lawyer Ben Crump who published a statement.
"This should not have been the outcome of taking their son to a concert, what should have been a joyful celebration. Ezra's death is absolutely heartbreaking." wrote Crump.
The fourth grader discovered Scott's music as a fan of Fortnite games and was "stoked" to be attending Astroworld his dad said in an interview with Houston's ABC13.