Astroworld tragedy: Victims identified in deadly Houston music festival

The families of the victims of the 2021 Astroworld Festival are speaking out in the wake of the tragedy at the Travis Scott concert in Houston, Texas.

Scott, whose real name is Jacques Bermon Webster, was performing at the music festival he founded when the crowd reportedly surged, resulting in eight deaths and more injuries. He has since faced criticism over the decision to keep the show going while first responders did their best to help the injured audience members. He was named in three separate lawsuits by victims and other Astroworld 2021 attendees. 

Although he has previously stated that he was unaware of the severity of the situation in the crowd from the stage, many are still pointing the blame for the incident at the rapper. 

While the list of names and ages of the deceased speak to the wide reach Scott has, it also spells a cautionary tale of how dangerous large crowd gatherings can be when rowdiness overtakes the audience.

Now, days after the deadly concert, several of the families who were affected are speaking out. 

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A street sign showing the cancellation of the AstroWorld Festival at NRG Park on November 6, 2021 in Houston, Texas. According to authorities, eight people died and 17 people were transported to local hospitals after what they describe as a crowd surge at the Astroworld festival, a music festival started by Houston-native rapper and musician Travis Scott in 2018.  

A street sign showing the cancellation of the AstroWorld Festival at NRG Park on November 6, 2021 in Houston, Texas. According to authorities, eight people died and 17 people were transported to local hospitals after what they describe as a crowd surge at the Astroworld festival, a music festival started by Houston-native rapper and musician Travis Scott in 2018.  
(Photo by Alex Bierens de Haan)

Franco Patino

Franco Patino, a 21-year-old University of Dayton student was among the eight killed during the concert, the Dayton Daily News reported, citing a campus-wide email.

Patino, from Naperville, Illinois, was majoring in mechanical engineering technology with a minor in human movement biomechanics, according to the paper.

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Speaking to People, Franco’s brother, Julio, described what a “big heart” his little brother had and noted that he was the type to always go above and beyond for other people. That is evident by the new job that he was excited to have working for a biomedical engineering co-op where he was helping to develop something to prevent blood clots in the heart, his brother told the outlet

He described his brother as a normal guy with average interests, such as sports, video games and good food. Julio noted he was in attendance at the Travis Scott concert to celebrate his best friend Jacob Jurinek’s 21st birthday. Jurinek is among the eight dead as well. 

Unfortunately, Julio was able to watch his little brother’s final moments unfold on social media.

“First I saw his friend passed out … and then I noticed him passed out. Then I found a video of somebody giving my brother CPR, passed out,” Julio told the outlet. “That one broke my heart. That’s all I really saw, and the moment of fear in everybody’s faces and just him just gone.”

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He continued: “I am so upset at the way that they handled everything there. Just the amount of people and the lack of control. They were conducting everything where, despite people being passed out, they just kept on going. They would stop a couple times, then they would keep on going instead of completely stopping everything.”

Julio also noted that he felt like officials should have stopped the show as soon as they realized what was going on. 

Fans during 2021 Astroworld Festival at NRG Park on November 05, 2021 in Houston, Texas.

Fans during 2021 Astroworld Festival at NRG Park on November 05, 2021 in Houston, Texas.
(Photo by Erika Goldring/WireImage)

Mirza Danish Baig

Mirza Danish Baig was revealed to be another of the victims of the incident. He reportedly died at the Astroworld Festival while trying to save his fiancée, Olivia Swingle.

“He managed to get it to where she was able to get out,” Danish’s brother Ammar Baig told People magazine of his 27-year-old sibling. “Somehow, the ambulance managed to get to her and then, by the time they got to my brother, they tried resuscitating him. And they said that before they got to the hospital, he couldn’t make it.”

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Their younger brother Basil was also in attendance and told the outlet that the crowd was hitting Olivia, prompting Mirza to take action.

“People started hitting them, people started hitting his fiancée, started [doing] a lot of things to her. She’s bruised up, and he was trying to save her,” he explained, adding, “And no one there was there to help him.”

Baig pressed that Mirza “had a huge heart” and would do everything possible to “take care of everybody.”

“We just want prayers for him,” Baig said of the middle child of five siblings while on his way to Mirza’s funeral. “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.”

Rudy Peña

The 23-year-old had a full life ahead of him, and the criminal justice major and rehab clinic medical assistant’s brother-in-law Sergio Gonzalez told People magazine that he and his wife are demanding answers to how Peña ended up being one of eight victims in the Astroworld Festival tragedy.

“He was a young man who had a clean record. He was well-behaved and loved sports. Of his five siblings, he was the most calm,” Gonzalez, who said their family found out about Peña’s death “in the worst way,”  shared. “We found out around 12:30 last night from a friend of Rudy that was with him that he had just passed out. It wasn’t until this afternoon that we found out he had died.”

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Peña’s mother was “distraught” when she learned of her son’s death. 

According to Gonzalez, Peña played football in high school and described him as “the calmest” and “most playful” among the siblings. He was also “the sweetest with everyone,” Gonzalez said. 

Peña “was the most spoiled, since he was the youngest,” Gonzales recalled of his brother-in-law. “[He] was always hanging out with his friends. I’ve been with my wife since before he was born, and it hurts so much,” Gonzalez said.

“We’re so angry. There are always so many concerts and they’re always great, but you never imagine that there’ll be a tragedy,” he continued. “You never go to a concert and think you’re going to die. You pay for your ticket, go to a concert, have fun and go home — you never think you’ll go through something like this.”

Added Gonzales: “I am really angry … If there’s a multitude of people gathering outside, why wasn’t there more control? That’s where my anger comes from.”

Jacob “Jake” Jurinek 

Jurinek was a 20-year-old junior at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, where he was “pursuing his passion for art and media,” his family said in a statement Sunday. He was just over two weeks short of his 21st birthday.

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He was attending the concert with Patino, his friend and former high school football teammate, according to Patino’s father, Julio Patino. He was deeply committed to his family and was known as “Big Jake” by his younger cousins.

He will be missed by his father, Ron Jurinek, with whom Jake became especially close after his mother died 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,” the family’s statement said.

“We are all devastated and are left with a huge hole in our lives,” his father, Ron Jurinek, added in an emailed statement.

Astroworld music festival was rocked by the death of eight attendees on Friday night.

Astroworld music festival was rocked by the death of eight attendees on Friday night.
(Amy Harris/Invision/AP)

John Hilgert

The youngest victim, 14-year-old Hilgert, was at the concert with classmate Robby Hendrix, whose mother, Tracy Faulkner, spoke with the Houston Chronicle. The boys had hoped to get a good spot to watch the show.

“Everything about that night was a tragedy,” Faulkner told the newspaper. “John was a good student and athlete and so polite. He was the sweetest and smartest young man.”

ASTROWORLD ATTENDEE SAYS HE MADE IT OUT OF THE DEADLY CONCERT ‘BY THE GRACE OF GOD’

Madison Dubiski

Just 23, the Houston native was a varsity cheerleader in high school and member of a community service group called the National Charity League, according to a former classmate who spoke to the Houston Chronicle.

“She was definitely the life of the party and loved by so many people,” Lauren Vogler told the newspaper.

Meanwhile, family friend Claudia Sierra added to the Chronicle that Dubiski was her mom’s best friend and she loved watching her brother play sports.

Travis Scott performs during 2021 Astroworld Festival at NRG Park on November 05, 2021 in Houston, Texas.

Travis Scott performs during 2021 Astroworld Festival at NRG Park on November 05, 2021 in Houston, Texas.
(Photo by Erika Goldring/WireImage)

Brianna Rodriguez

A mere 16 years old, the Heights High School student “loved to dance,” her family relayed to People magazine.

Pink ribbons and balloons adorned the fence outside of her high school, spelling out “Bri.”

“Brianna was someone who performed with the band and was someone who could always make anyone smile,” the Heights High School band said in a tweet.

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Her high school dance team remembered her in an Instagram post, saying that she was with the group for three years, served as the junior social officer and “never failed to put a smile on everyone’s face.

“She was a wonderful friend, teammate, dancer, sister, daughter, and leader. The bulldog community is deeply saddened and will honor her in every way we can. We love you Brianna,” the team said in the post.

The crowd watches as Travis Scott performs at Astroworld Festival at NRG park on Friday, Nov.  5, 2021 in Houston where officials declared a ‘mass casualty incident’ just after 9 p.m. Friday during the festival where an estimated 50,000 people were in attendance, Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña told reporters at a news conference. 

The crowd watches as Travis Scott performs at Astroworld Festival at NRG park on Friday, Nov.  5, 2021 in Houston where officials declared a ‘mass casualty incident’ just after 9 p.m. Friday during the festival where an estimated 50,000 people were in attendance, Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña told reporters at a news conference. 
(Jamaal Ellis/Houston Chronicle via AP)

Axel Acosta Avila

Avila, 21, was a computer science major at Western Washington University. His father, Edgar Acosta, told KOMO-TV his son was among the victims who died at the festival.

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The university in Bellingham, Washington, released a statement on Sunday: “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.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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