Astroworld Victims: Who They Were
The music festival at Astroworld in Houston left eight people dead. Here is what is known about them so far.,
Astroworld Victims Include High Schoolers and a College Student
The music festival at Astroworld in Houston left eight people dead. Here is what is known about them so far.
People posted messages to victims on a gate outside the Astroworld festival site during a vigil on Saturday.Credit…Annie Mulligan for The New York Times
Excitement and adrenaline soon turned to panic and horror as a crowd of 50,000 descended into chaos at the Astroworld music festival in Houston on Friday night. Unconscious bodies were lifted and surfed through the crowd, while other attendees begged for the concert to stop as they watched others around them collapse.
Hundreds of people, including a 10-year-old child, suffered injuries. Some were rushed from the NRG Park in Houston, where the festival took place, to hospitals. By Saturday afternoon, Houston’s mayor confirmed that 13 victims remain hospitalized, including five minors.
And eight people, ranging in age from 14 to 27, with one age unknown, were dead. Here is what we know about some of the lives that were lost.
Franco Patino, 21, was majoring in mechanical engineering technology at the University of Dayton in Ohio.Credit…Patino Family
Franco Patino, 21, a senior at the University of Dayton in Ohio, was among those who died at the music festival, the university and one of Mr. Patino’s brothers confirmed.
Mr. Patino, who was from Naperville, Ill., was majoring in mechanical engineering technology with a minor in human movement biomechanics, the university said in a campuswide email on Saturday. Mr. Patino was a member of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and Alpha Psi Lambda, a Hispanic interest fraternity, the university said.
A brother, Julio Patino Jr., said his younger brother was planning to pursue a career in biomedical engineering and had a particular interest in prosthetics. Julio Patino Jr. said his brother was active in volunteer work and regularly sought to help others.
“He was just that type of person,” he said. “He was always there for the people he cared about. He had a big heart.”
He described his brother as an avid video game player (“Call of Duty” was a favorite) who competed in football, rugby and wrestling in high school. He said his brother had been to other concerts without incident but that this was his first time attending the Astroworld festival.
“This should have never happened,” Julio Patino Jr. said of the deaths at the music festival. “There should be more rules in place to prevent this in the future. They should have stopped the concert right away as soon as all this started happening.”
Green ribbons appeared at Memorial High School, just outside of Houston. It was the favorite color of John Hilgert, 14, a freshman, who was the youngest person to die at Astroworld, according to the authorities.
He told friends that he wanted to get to the performance by the rapper Travis Scott early to get a good view, The Houston Chronicle reported. Now, family members, friends and former coaches were left to make sense of his death. On social media, those who knew Mr. Hilgert told similar stories of a young, kind boy who was known for being a good student and an athlete who played baseball and football.
“The kid impacted everyone that met him,” Justin Higgs, a former baseball coach of Mr. Hilgert, wrote on Facebook. “Privileged to have had the opportunity to coach him during those seasons of his life.”
Mr. Hilgert’s principal, Lisa Weir, sent an email to the entire school the morning after the concert, identifying Mr. Hilgert as one of the victims. The school will have counselors available to talk to students.
“He was one of the nicest kids I knew and always made people laugh,” a friend tweeted.
A collection of photos from a GoFundMe page established for Brianna Rodriguez.Credit…Gofundme
Brianna Rodriguez, 16, was a student at Heights High School in Houston and a member of the school band, which paid tribute to her Saturday on Twitter.
“Brianna was someone who performed with the band and was someone who could always make anyone smile,” the band said. “Although she’s gone and she cannot perform with us anymore, we know she’d want to still enjoy our time in heights.”
In an automated phone call on Saturday to parents, the school’s principal, Wendy L. Hampton, said that a student had died on Friday night while off campus and that grief counselors would be available. The call did not identify the student.
On a GoFundMe page raising money for funeral expenses, Ms. Rodriguez’s family said that she was passionate about dancing.
On Sunday, Erica Davis, a trustee for the Harris County Department of Education, shared photos of her on Twitter.
“There is no level above Tragedy … my heart mourns for families and all who experienced this,” Ms. Davis said.
Rudy Pena died at the Astroworld music festival.Credit…Gofundme.com
Rudy Pena was identified by a cousin, Kimberly Escamilla, as being one of the victims. “Rip to my cousin,” she wrote in a Facebook post, “you will be missed.” She described him as “always smiling and so nice.”
His sister, Jennifer Pena, told The Laredo Times that he was “the sweetest person, friendly, outgoing.” She said that Mr. Pena had been taken to Ben Taub Hospital in Houston, where staff members told Mr. Pena’s mother that he had died.
The brother of Danish Baig described him in a Facebook post as a “beautiful soul” who put “everyone before himself.”
“I am scarred for life,” said the brother, Basil Mirza Baig. “You were my role model, and I have so much pain in my heart. I can’t believe I lost you.”
Basil Baig, who attended the festival, said his brother died as he tried to save a sister-in-law from “horrendous things that were being done.” People were “trampled, walked and stomped on,” he wrote.
“In this time of mourning and grief and such pain, I would like everyone to pray for my family and my brother,” he wrote.
Reporting was contributed by Melina Delkic, Eduardo Medina, Christopher Mele and Neil Vigdor. Jack Begg contributed research.