- Nine people died because of a crowd surge at Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival in Houston.
- The victims ranged in age from 14 to 27 years old.
- Among them were a ninth-grade student-athlete, a dancer, and two best friends.
A ninth-grader, a 16-year-old dancer, and two best friends celebrating a birthday were among the nine people who lost their lives at Travis Scott’s Astroworld music festival in Houston on Friday.
The ages of the victims who lost their lives ranged from 14 to 27 years old, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said, according to The Independent.
The deaths came after people at the sold-out festival, which had about 50,000 in attendance, surged toward the main stage while Scott was performing, Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña told reporters at a news conference.
Witnesses told Insider that it was impossible to breathe as people pushed to the front, which resulted in panic and fans pleading with the rapper to stop the concert.
Here is what we know so far about the people who died:
John Hilgert, 14, student-athlete
John Hilgert is the youngest named victim from Astroworld. He was a high schooler who loved to play sports including flag football and baseball, according to The Washington Post.
A family friend described Hilgert as “the sweetest and smartest young man” who was a good student and had a tight-knit family, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Justin Higgs, his former baseball coach, told The Post that Hilgert and his teammates all loved Scott and listened to his music a lot.
Brianna Rodriguez, 16, student dancer
Brianna Rodriguez was a “beautiful” and “vibrant” student at Heights High School in Houston who had a passion for dance, a GoFundMe page for her funeral said. She was 16.
“Dancing was her passion and now she is dancing her way to heaven’s pearly gates,” her mother, Iris, wrote in a Facebook post.
Best friends Franco Patino and Jacob Jurinek, 21 and 20
Franco Patino and Jacob Jurinek, who met in elementary school in Naperville, Illinois, were “best friends every step of each other lives,” Patino’s brother Cesar Patino told CBS Chicago.
Jurinek was a big fan of Scott’s music and bought the tickets six months before the festival to celebrate his 21st birthday on November 20. Patino was already 21.
Patino was studying engineering at the University of Dayton in Ohio, while Jurinek was studying journalism at Southern Illinois University.
Jurinek was particularly close with his father, Ron Jurinek, after his mother, Allison, passed away in 2011.
“In the decade since, Jake and Ron were inseparable – attending White Sox and Blackhawks games, sharing their love of professional wrestling, and spending weekends with extended family and friends at Jake’s favorite place, the family cottage in Southwestern Michigan,” a statement from Jurinek’s family said, according to NBC Chicago.
-Marissa Parra (@MarParNews) November 7, 2021
Danish Baig, 27, saved his fiancée
Danish Baig died while saving his fiancée during the concert, according to his brother Basil Baig, who was also there.
“My brother was killed in this horrendous Astroworld event that was managed poorly and supervised by such horrible people,” Basil Baig wrote on Facebook.
“I was there and I wasn’t able to save my brother. People were hitting pushing and shoving and did not care for anyone’s life,” he added.
Danish Baig’s fiancée survived but was seriously injured, one of his brothers said in a recent interview with WFAA.
“My sister-in-law is in pain. She was stomped on, hit, punched, horrendous things were happening to her that I don’t want to mention,” the brother said.
“My brother was trying to save her and he did, he saved her, and it cost him his life,” he added. Further details on her condition were not available.
Watch the WFAA interview here:
Danish Baig, was born in Pakistan but grew up in Euless, Texas, The Washington Post reported. He worked as a district manager for AT&T and was one of four siblings.
Axel Acosta, 21, computer-science student
Axel Acosta from Yakima County, Washington, traveled by himself to see Scott perform at Astroworld, his aunt Cynthia Acosta told ABC News.
The event was a few days after his 21st birthday.
-Kevin Ko (@NewsWithKevin) November 8, 2021
Acosta’s father told KTRK Seattle that his son was studying computer science at Western Washington University.
“By all accounts, Axel was a young man with a vibrant future. We are sending our condolences to his family on this very sad day,” Melynda Huskey, the vice president of enrollment and student services at the university, told KTRK Seattle.
Rodolfo Peña, 23, aspiring Border Patrol agent
Rodolfo “Rudy” Peña was a 23-year-old Laredo College student who loved music, dancing, and cowboy gear, his eldest sister, Jennifer, told Rolling Stone.
“He was the sweetest person. He was responsible. He was there for everybody,” Jennifer said, according to Rolling Stone. “He loved to be close to his friends and family. He helped a lot. He was always smiling. He would come to me for advice. I loved that.”
Peña was studying criminology with the goal of one day working for US Customs and Border Protection, his family added.
Madison Dubiski, 23, University of Mississippi graduate
Madison Dubiski recently graduated from the University of Mississippi and worked at Rhino Marketing Worldwide, according to her Facebook page.
The 23-year-old lived in Houston and was a native of Cypress, Texas.
“Words will never be able to describe the pain of losing my best friend, secret keeper, sissy, and soulmate, Madison Alexis Dubiski,” pal Riley Dimeo wrote about the victim in a post on Facebook.
“If you were fortunate enough to know mads you knew how beautiful, sweet, kind, generous, and loving she really was,” said Dimeo. “She had a special way of making every single person she encountered in life feel special, appreciated, and accepted no matter what.”
Dimeo added, “I still cannot wrap my head around this tragedy or accept that fact that she is gone. Justice will come for our girl. I just know she is the most fabulous angel in Heaven.”
Bharti Shahani, 22, Texas A&M University student
Bharti Shahani was a senior at Texas A&M University studying electronic-systems engineering who had already lined up an internship for after her 2022 graduation.
She attended Astroworld, her first music festival, with her cousin, Mohit Bellani, and her younger sister, Namrata Shahani.
When the crowd began to compress, Bellani and Namrata Shanani lost hold of Bharti.
Later that night, they found her at Houston Methodist Hospital. According to her cousin, Bharti lost oxygen twice – once for 10 minutes, and again for seven minutes.
She also had two heart attacks on the way to the hospital, her family said at a Thursday press conference.
Bharti was connected to a ventilator and in critical condition on Tuesday, showing no signs of brain activity, Insider previously reported.
She died on Wednesday at 6:50 p.m. local time, bringing the Astroworld death toll from eight victims to nine.
“Bharti is love – pure. Always thinking about everybody,” Karishma Shahani, her mother, told reporters on Thursday. “I am blessed God gave me [her]. But what happened now? What happened to my blessing now?”
“She was the head of the family,” Sunny Shahani, her father, told reporters at the press conference. “She was a very nice girl, always calm, always listened … I don’t want somebody else’s daughter to go like this.”Tags: Astroworld Festival Travis Scott