Accident

Astroworld Festival tragedy: What we know about the eight victims

The youngest among them, a Spring ISD Memorial High School and a Houston ISD Heights High School student.

HOUSTON — Investigators are starting to share information about the eight people who lost their lives during Friday night’s Astroworld Festival in Houston.

Less than 24 hours after the tragic incident, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner released the ages of seven of the eight victims. Two of them were teenagers.

The ages of the victims are 14, 16, 21, 21, 21, 23, 23 and 27.

The youngest victim, John Hilgert, was a Memorial High School freshman, according to Spring Branch ISD.

Parents at Houston ISD’s Heights High School confirmed a student at their school was also among the victims.

University of Dayton administrators sent an announcement that engineering senior Franco Patino also died while out of town for the concert.

“Last night was tragic on many different levels,” Turner said during a media briefing Saturday afternoon.

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John Hilgert

The youngest victim was a ninth-grade student from Memorial High School, according to Spring Branch ISD. They identified him as 14-year-old John Hilgert.

“Our hearts go out to the student’s family and to his friends and our staff at Memorial. This is a terrible loss, and the entire MHS family is grieving today,” Spring Branch ISD said in a statement. “Please keep the student’s family in your thoughts and prayers as they face this tragedy. We will make counselors available to students next week to offer any help and support needed.”

The school put up green ribbons around campus because that was Hilgert’s favorite color.

The district said a special memorial will be held for Hilgert at 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 7.

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Franco Patino

The University of Dayton confirmed mechanical engineering technology student Franco Patino, 21, was among those killed during Astroworld Festival.

Patino was a senior from Naperville, Illinois. He minored in human movement biomechanics.

According to school officials, he was a member of the Alpha Psi Lambda, a Hispanic interest fraternity. Patino was active in the campus Greek Life, as well as the local MEC community. He was a member of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers at UD, participated in the ETHOS program, and was currently working in an engineering coop program in Mason, Ohio.

Credit: Franco Patino family

Jacob Jurinek

Jacob Jurinek died after attending the festival with Franco Patino, another one of the victims who died. The two were reportedly best friends, according to CBS Chicago

Jurinek was a Naperville native and a student at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

The Southern Illinoisan newspaper reported that Jurinek was studying advertising and journalism at the university and had designed posters and social media banners for athletics at SIU.

“We are brokenhearted to lose a member of the Saluki family, Jacob Jurinek, and we extend our deepest condolences to his family and friends,” SIU Chancellor Austin A. Lane said in a statement Sunday. “Jacob was a creative, intelligent young man, with a promising career in journalism and advertising. As we mourn this loss in our community, we will keep Jacob’s family and friends in our thoughts.”

Danish Baig

Danish Baig was trying to protect his fiancé from being trampled when he was fatally injured during Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival concert, according to his brother, Basil Baig.

“People were trampled, walked, and stomped on. My brother tried to save my sister in law from these horrendous acts that were being done to her in the process he lost his life. My brother Danish Baig a beautiful soul whos [sic] smile would light up the room and put everyone before himself. Last night he showed his courageous act to save my sister in law/his fiance [sic] from those horrendous things that were being done. I am lost of words and in true trauma from this event. I was there and i wasnt [sic] able to save my brother,” Basil Baig said in a Facebook post.

Basil Baig said his brother will be laid to rest Monday, Nov. 8, in Colleyville, Texas.

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Rudy Peña

Rudy Peña, a 23-year-old college student, from Laredo was killed in the crowd surge at Astroworld Festival, according to family members. They said he came to Houston for the concert with a group of friends.

“He was a people person,” a friend said. “He introduced people to each other.”

His older brother, Guadalupe Peña, set up a GoFundMe account to help his family with funeral expenses. Click here to donate.

Credit: Rudy Peña family

Axel Acosta

Axel Acosta was killed during the Astroworld Festival, the family told KHOU 11.

Tony Buzbee announced his law firm would be representing the Acosta family.

Buzbee said Acosta had just turned 21 and was from Tieton, Washington.

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What happened during Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival?

Houston Fire Chief Sam Peña said events started to really escalate at about 9:30 p.m. when a crowd surge took place during one of Travis Scott’s performances. They said hundreds of people were injured during this time.

A total of 25 people had to be hospitalized. Eight died, 13 remain hospitalized, and as of Saturday afternoon, four had been discharged. One of the individuals who remain hospitalized is a 10-year-old who is still in critical condition, officials confirmed.

Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said he knows there are a lot of narratives being circulated around about what caused the deaths of these eight individuals, but at this time, this incident is still a very active investigation and the cause of death will be determined by a medical examiner.

Finner admitted to one of the narratives being investigated is that drugs were being injected into festivalgoers. Finner said he and his department are looking into a report of a security guard becoming unconscious after being pricked by a needle. The security guard was attempting to grab someone when he felt the prick and went down. A medical team had to administer Narcan to the security guard who then regained consciousness. He was examined and there was a prick mark found on his neck, Finner said.

This incident remains a very active investigation.

A memorial is being built outside NRG Park for the victims. 

Written by Chloe Alexander, Ciara Rouege (KHOU)

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