Astroworld Security Guard Wasn't Injected with Drugs, Fell Unconscious After Blow to Head: Police

Eight people died at Travis Scott's Astroworld Festival on Friday night in Houston

A security guard at Friday's tragic Astroworld Festival initially rumored to have fallen unconscious after being pricked by a needle was actually struck in the head, and was not injected with drugs, Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said at a Wednesday press conference.

Finner walked back an assertion he made Saturday, the night after the Travis Scott festival, when he conveyed a report from medical first responders that a security guard who had fallen unconscious told staff he had been pricked in the neck.

According to Finner, police have since spoken to the security guard. "He says he was struck in his head. He went unconscious. He woke up in the security tent. He says that no one injected drugs in him," Finner said.

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At the press conference addressing the mass casualty event in which eight people died, Finner also disputed rumors that he and Scott are friends.

He said he has been on the job for more than three decades, and that he had met a lot of people during that time but had only spoken to the rapper twice.

Travis Scott performs during 2021 Astroworld Festival
Travis Scott performs during 2021 Astroworld Festival. Erika Goldring/WireImage

"If someone's referring to a 'special relationship,' and if you call meeting him twice a special relationship … that's not a close relationship to me. I've only spoken to him twice. So let's put that to rest," he said.

Finner said the Houston Police Department is the lead investigative agency into the incident, and bemoaned the rumors that have circulated about it.

"There's been a lot of talk, a lot of rumors and speculation where it's not helpful, and it's harmful to the families," he said.

John Hilgert, 14; Brianna Rodriguez, 16; Franco Patiño, 21; Axel Acosta, 21; Jacob Jurinek, 21; Rudy Peña, 23; Madison Dubiski, 23; and Danish Baig, 27, have been identified as the eight fatal victims of the tragedy.

At least 36 lawsuits have been filed against Scott over the incident, the Houston Chronicle reported.

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Among those was the family of Ezra Blount, a 9-year-old boy who was "nearly crushed to death" while attending the show with his father, according to the suit.

Following the horror, Scott posted a series of videos to his Instagram Story on Saturday, saying he was "horrified" by what happened at his show and pledging to help the victims' families.

"I'm honestly just devastated and I could never imagine anything like this happening," Scott said.

Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña previously told PEOPLE that his department started receiving calls that the situation was "escalating" just before 9:30 p.m. local time, and requested additional resources "because we knew that this was going to escalate."

Within 10 minutes of that request, the Houston Fire Department had declared a level two mass casualty event.

"We need to get to the bottom of what caused people to start surging..." Peña said. "But more than that, what's been on my mind is: how could it have been stopped? From my perspective, everybody at that concert had a responsibility, including the crowd, but certainly the security and even the artists. They have a lot of control over the crowd. I'm not saying that this is the answer, but I've seen it in other instances where the artist pauses the show, turns on the lights and says, 'Hey, we need to address whatever before we move forward.'"

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