Astroworld Festival: Police confirm victims may have been injected with drugs, launch criminal probe

A security guard reported being pricked in the neck.

Houston authorities say a security guard and possibly others were jabbed with syringes during Travis Scott‘s Astroworld Festival, which saw at least eight people killed and numerous others injured while the rapper was onstage Friday night.

At a news conference Saturday afternoon, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner confirmed that while the age of one fatality remained unknown, other victims were 14, 16, 21, 21, 23, 23 and 27. The causes of the deaths were not immediately known.

Turner confirmed that 25 other people were hospitalized, including several attendees under age 18.

Houston police Chief Troy Finner said his department had 528 officers on the scene with another 755 security officers provided by event promoter Live Nation.

He said there were “a lot of narratives” floating around regarding what happened at the event, but encouraged those keeping up with the case to “follow the facts and evidence.”

Rapper Travis Scott performs onstage at Astroworld music festival in Houston, which authorities called a "mass casualty incident" after a deadly crowd surge.

Rapper Travis Scott performs onstage at Astroworld music festival in Houston, which authorities called a “mass casualty incident” after a deadly crowd surge. (Getty Images)

He did say, however, that authorities have obtained a statement from a security guard suggesting the guard felt a prick in his neck and medical staff concurred that a marking on his skin aligned with such an event. 

“There were some individuals that were trampled and we want to be respectful to that, we just ask that y’all give us time to do a proper investigation,” he added, noting Live Nation has been cooperative and will provide video from the event to authorities on Saturday evening.


“This is now a criminal investigation that’s going to involve our homicide division as well as narcotics,” he stated. “And we’re going to get to the bottom of it.”

Twenty-five arrests were made Friday, authorities said. Twenty-three were for trespassing, one was for public intoxication and one was for possession of marijuana.

Eight attendees died in the incident ranging in ages from 14-27. One victim's age remained unknown.

Eight attendees died in the incident ranging in ages from 14-27. One victim’s age remained unknown. (Associated Press)

Narcan was administered to several individuals – including the security guard who felt a prick in his neck – though the exact number of those treated was unclear.

Houston fire Chief Samuel Peña then spoke, explaining that his team would be “looking into the permits that were issued and ensuring that the plan that was submitted was adhered to during the event.”


Peña praised his team’s “robust” and “incredible response” to the incident and explained that “there is no occupancy permit for an outdoor event,” meaning that the number of attendees was not mandated by laws or regulations.

He said that more than 200,000 people could have gathered in the area, but that the outdoor venue limited attendance to 50,000 at the time of the festival.

Travis Scott, 29, has released a statement, as has event promoter Live Nation regarding the ordeal.

Travis Scott, 29, has released a statement, as has event promoter Live Nation regarding the ordeal. (Associated Press)

“These injuries did not occur as people were trying to exit the venue,” he stated, touting that doors remained open in accordance with the plan put in place for the event.

“What we’re looking into is what caused the crowd surge, what led to the crowd surge,” Peña said. He added that inspectors were on-site to oversee pyrotechnics, tents and doors.

When taking questions from the reporters that gathered for the conference, Finner was pressed on the timeline he provided for the evening – he had stated that at 9:30 p.m. they were alerted to people “going down” and that the event was wrapped up by 10:10 p.m.


One reporter asked for the reason for the 40-minute delay, which he attributed to the size and age of the crowd, stating they had to be careful not to incite a riot. When another journalist who claimed to be present at the concert claimed that his timeline was off, Finner allowed that if he was incorrect, he was only off by a minute or two.

He also confirmed that a 10-year-old was currently in critical condition, though offered no additional details.


Autopsies and toxicology reports were currently being conducted on the deceased.

According to a local news outlet, one of the victims was a freshman at Memorial High School in Houston.

Scott, 29, released a statement earlier Saturday, noting that he was “absolutely devastated” by the disaster.

A source told the New York Post’s Page Six that the musician was “in tears” after he learned what was happening.

“He’s really upset — he had no idea what was going on, he was onstage performing,” said the insider. “He’s beside himself, I’ve never heard him like that.”

Live Nation, which has previously said it intends to cooperate fully with the investigation, offered a statement to Fox News on Saturday.

“Heartbroken for those lost and impacted at Astroworld last night,” the company said via email. “We will continue working to provide as much information and assistance as possible to the local authorities as they investigate the situation.”

Written by Nate Day

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