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Several Victims Of The Astroworld Tragedy Identified As Families And Friends Mourn Their Loss

Several Victims Of The Astroworld Tragedy Identified As The Families Mourn Their Loss

Days after the devastating crowd surge at Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival in Houston, Texas, authorities have begun sharing information about the victims who lost their lives.

During a news conference this weekend, Mayor Sylvester Turner confirmed eight people had died. He revealed that a 14-year-old, 16-year-old, two 21-year-olds, two 23-year-olds, and a 27-year-old died. The eighth victim’s age wasn’t disclosed at the time.

Since then, several victims have been identified by either their families or the schools they attended. John Hilgert, a 14-year-old student from Memorial High School, was among those who died. MHS Principal Lisa Weir revealed his death in a letter sent out to the community and obtained by ABC 13, saying:

“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.”

Following the tragic news, his baseball coach Justin Higgs penned a touching tribute on Facebook in honor of the teen. Alongside a series of photographs and videos, he expressed:

“RIP John Hilgert. He got the Call up to the Major Leagues by the Almighty! John made an impact on anyone who met him and they always remembered him. I have memories of John I’ll never forget. You had to love the kid. No option not too [sic] cause he was who he was. He loved the game [of] baseball.”

Related: Kylie Jenner & Travis Scott Say They ‘Weren’t Aware Of Any Fatalities’ At Astroworld Festival

Saying that it “was a privilege to coach” Hilgert, Higgs then sent his condolences to “any of his friends, teammates, and his family… especially Ms. Hilgert” before adding:

“[He was] one of the nicest human beings I’ve ever met. John was an Angel the whole time I knew him… impacting others for good and he himself was a legend. The legend of John. Will meet again John. Till then watch over us my friend. Catcher, pitcher, shortstop, great kid. Lived his life to the fullest.”

On Saturday, the family of 16-year-old Brianna Rodriguez confirmed to People that she was among the victims. In a GoFundMe created after the tragedy, her family shared that she had been a “beautiful, vibrant” high school junior who had a passion for “dancing and now she’s dancing her way to heaven’s pearly gates.”

According to the outlet, Rudy Peña, a 23-year-old medical assistant and criminal justice major of Laredo, Texas, also died in the incident. On Saturday, his brother-in-law Sergio Gonzalez told People that their family is demanding justice for his death, saying:

“We learned in the worst way. 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. This afternoon, Rudy’s mother found out that he had died. She was so distraught. Her pain was immense. She was screaming, crying. We had to give her a sedative, and she’s barely going to sleep. She thinks he’s still alive and that she’s waiting for him and that he’ll come home. She keeps saying she has to get home because he’s going to arrive.”

We cannot even imagine what this mother is going through. What any of the victim’s family members are going through. While Gonzalez recognizes that no one could have predicted this tragedy happening, he still thinks it could have been prevented:

“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. 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. 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.”

His sister Jennifer Peña also told Laredo Morning Times:

“My brother was the sweetest person, friendly, outgoing, he had many friends because he was always there for everyone. Yes, he was a big fan of Travis, he loved his music.”

A GoFundMe has also been set up by his family in Rudy’s honor.

The University of Dayton first confirmed that 21-year-old mechanical engineering student Franco Patino had passed away to local station WHIO. His older brother Julio Patino Jr. expressed to People that he “had such a big heart” and was “always going above and beyond and helping others.” Patino’s friend, Jacob Jurinek, also sadly died at the event, with his father Ron telling People:

“He was the sweetest kid you’d ever want to meet. [He had] the biggest heart in the world.”

Then, in a statement to ABC News, Basil Baig said his 27-year-old brother, Danish Baig, was killed trying to save his fiancé from being crushed in the crowd:

“He was [an] innocent young soul who would always put others before him. He was a hard-working man who loved his family and took care of us. He was there in a heartbeat for anything. He always had a solution to everything.”

He then added that his family are hiring an attorney and have not heard from the 29-year-old rapper or the concert organizers at this time:

“Travis Scott and his team and everyone associated in the event should and WILL BE HELD RESPONSIBLE. He [didn’t] stop the show even with people chanting and to stop the show. He allowed it. This was a blood bath and all of it is on his hands.”

And according to KHOU 11, the family of Axel Acosta has since identified that their 21-year-old son was among the victims.

Absolutely heartbreaking. We are sending all of our love and deepest condolences to the family and friends of the victims.

[Image via KPRC 2 Click2Houston/YouTube]

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Nov 07, 2021 13:30pm PDT