Astroworld Festival Victims Brianna Rodriguez, 16, and Rudy Peña, 23, Remembered by Their Families: 'I Love You'
On Saturday, the family of 16-year-old Brianna Rodriguez confirmed to PEOPLE that she was one of the eight victims who died at the mass casualty event during Scott's performance at Houston's NRG Park.
According to her family's Facebook post, Rodriguez was a junior in high school.
"Gone from our sites [sic], but never from our hearts," wrote her family. "It is with profound sadness we lay to rest our beloved Brianna Rodriguez. She was a beautiful vibrant 16-year-old high school junior at Heights HS in Houston TX. Dancing was her passion and now she's dancing her way to heaven's pearly gates."
Laredo, TX resident Rudy Peña, 23, also died, PEOPLE confirms. A day after the tragedy, Peña's brother-in-law Sergio Gonzalez told PEOPLE (translated to English) their family wants answers and justice after losing his wife's little brother.
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"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," Gonzalez explained. "It wasn't until this afternoon that we found out he had died."
Peña's cousin, Kimberly Escamilla, also confirmed his death. In a Facebook tribute, she wrote, "Rip to my cousin you will be missed i can't believe this happened to u at the astros concert. 😭😭😭 you we're always smiling and so nice!! And So handsome! 🥺 I love you!!"
During a Saturday news conference, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner told reporters a 14-year-old, a 16-year-old, two 21-year-olds, two 23-year-olds, and a 27-year-old were reportedly among the dead. The eighth victim's age had not been identified. The 67-year-old mayor said the incident is being "thoroughly investigated and reviewed."
About 50,000 people attended the concert and more than 300 people were injured. Turner said of the 25 people initially transported to the hospital, 13 remain hospitalized.
Eyewitnesses of the horrific event at the Astroworld Festival described a scene of chaos and fear.
In an interview with CNN, concertgoer Billy Nasser said, "people were just dying left and right." He said things "heated up" around 15 minutes after Scott began his performance "and just progressively got worse."
"People were getting trampled. They were losing their balance and then tripping over people on the floor," he told the outlet.
While trying to help one victim, Nasser said he watched his eyes "roll into the back of his head." He checked his pulse "and knew he was dead."
"I just had to leave him there," Nasser explained. "There was nothing I could do. I had to keep going."
At another news conference on Saturday, Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said a security officer was allegedly pricked in the neck as he was trying to restrain a citizen at the concert.
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While being examined by medical staff, the security guard fell "unconscious," and was injected with Narcan, in order to save his life.
"He was revived, and the medical staff did notice pricks that were similar to when somebody's trying to inject," Finner told reporters.
He added that there were "several instances" when Narcan was administered at the Astroworld Festival.
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo is calling for an independent investigation into what occurred Friday evening and how it could have been prevented.
On Saturday, Scott, 29, issued a statement via Twitter, writing that he was "absolutely devastated" about the incident.
"My prayers go out to the families and all those impacted by what happened at Astroworld Festival." He continued, "Houston PD has my total support as they continue to look into the tragic loss of life."
The "SICKO MODE" rapper ended the tweet, "Love You All."
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