Astroworld Victim Franco Patino, 21, Remembered by His Older Brother: 'He Had Such a Big Heart'

"He was funny all the time with his jokes. He was always making people laugh," Julio Patino, Jr. tells PEOPLE of his younger sibling

Franco Patino
Franco Patino. Photo: Franco Patino Family

Franco Patino, one of the eight people who died during the mass casualty event at Travis Scott's Astroworld Festival in Houston on Friday, is being remembered by his brother for the kind and giving person that he was before his death at age 21.

Speaking shortly after the horrific tragedy, Franco's older brother, Julio Patino, Jr., tells PEOPLE that his younger sibling "had such a big heart" and was "always going above and beyond and helping others."

A college junior who was looking to earn a mechanical engineering technology major with a minor in biomechanics, Franco was also described by Julio, 25, as incredibly intelligent and excited about his new job — a biomedical engineering co-op where "he was working on basically something in the heart to prevent it from clotting."

Franco also held a leadership role in his Alpha Psi Lambda fraternity, Julio says. Friends from the organization paid tribute to Franco after his death with an emotional remembrance.

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"They set up a vigil for him and they all got up and were saying such wonderful things about him — How he was always there for them, he was an older brother to them, there to protect them and be there for them," Julio details. "And he was always good [and] that they've always known my brother to be a part of the family and help out and go above and beyond."

franco patino

In addition to his life as a student and a member of his fraternity, Julio says Franco enjoyed being a young adult.

"He was really into sports. He played football. He played rugby and wrestling in high school," Julio tells PEOPLE. "Lately, he was really into his video games and just being a part of the community, helping out, volunteering, doing community service. He was just there for everybody."

Franco also "loved food," Julio notes. "He loved wings, Buffalo wings ... He liked the Asian Zing," he continues. "He loved Mexican food ... he loved Horchata, it's a drink, [and] he loved pizza."

"Right now, we have so much pizza, and it reminded us of him," the older sibling adds.

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Always putting others before himself, Julio says that Franco was also someone who loved to bring joy to others.

"He was funny all the time with his jokes. He was always making people laugh," he explains. "At the vigil, people were just saying funny stories that they had of him or funny jokes that he would make and everybody would just laugh. That's one of the things I love about my brother."

Franco also never put himself first and made sure that everyone around him always felt included.

"He was always looking out for everybody," Julio explains. "Making sure that everybody felt included. ... He was that kind of person. He wanted everybody to feel comfortable, to feel like they mattered. And he was very genuine, always."

"My little brother, he had such a big heart. He's always going above and beyond and helping others," he adds. "He was an organ donor. He wanted to help as many people as he could, and he did that to the very end."

According to Julio, Franco was in attendance at Scott's Astroworld Festival to celebrate his best friend Jacob Jurinek's 21st birthday when tragedy struck. Jurinek also reportedly died during the music event.

"They were planning [to go to the event] for months. Franco was saving up money for it, so was Jacob," Julio tells PEOPLE. "And he was very excited. He was telling all his friends and family, 'I'm going to go and see Travis Scott and Bad Bunny.'"

Detailing that he saw his brother's "last moments from social media," Julio says that he and his family officially learned their loved one was dead after a hospital contacted them.

"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 recalls. "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."

"I am so upset at the way that they handled everything there. Just the amount of people and the lack of control," Julio says of the Astroworld event. "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."

"There should have been a point where they said, 'This is out of control. We gotta stop this before it gets even worse,'" he adds. "And they just kept on going."

Houston mayor Sylvester Turner — who has said there will be a "thorough investigation" — told the New York Times there was "more security" at the festival than at the World Series Games. He added that the event took place on county property and security was organized by the city of Houston. In addition to 240 or 250 "non-police security," Turner told the NYT the city provided "hundreds" of police officers.

Looking ahead, Julio says that while the investigation in Texas continues to unfold, he hopes the event will "be a wake-up call for everybody that this shouldn't have happened."

"Things need to change, maybe better security. They need to really revisit everything, kind of really do a deep dive of what went wrong and understand how this could be prevented in the future, how it failed, what they could do better," he concludes. "Some real solutions that are going to eliminate that environment in the first place."

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