Everything We Know So Far About the 8 People Killed at Travis Scott's Astroworld Festival

After eight people — ages 14 to 27 — died at the music festival in Houston on Friday, the victims' loved ones pay tribute to the lives cut short: "I will never be the same"

Rudy Peña, Brianna Rodriguez and John Hilgert
Rudy Peña, Brianna Rodriguez and John Hilgert. Photo: Facebook (2); Courtesy Hilgert Family

Mayor Sylvester Turner confirmed at a news conference on Saturday that eight people died in a mass casualty event at Travis Scott's Astroworld Festival at NRG Park in Houston on Friday.

Turner said of the 25 people initially transported to the hospital, 13 remain hospitalized and five are under the age of 18.

John Hilgert, 14, a ninth-grade student from Memorial High School in Houston was among the victims, according to KHOU 11.

"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," the school said in a letter to families in the district on Saturday obtained by the outlet.

John Hilgert
John Hilgert. Courtesy Hilgert Family

On Saturday, the family of 16-year-old Brianna Rodriguez confirmed to PEOPLE that she was one of the eight victims who died during Scott's performance.

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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."

Rudy Peña, a 23-year-old medical assistant and criminal justice major of Laredo, Texas, also died.

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.

Rudy Pena
Rudy Peña. Jennifer Peña

"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!!"

The two 21-year-olds who died have now been identified as Franco Patiño and his best friend, Jacob Jurinek. Franco's older brother, Julio Patiño, Jr., told PEOPLE that his younger sibling "had such a big heart" and was "always going above and beyond and helping others."

Franco Patino
Franco Patino. Franco Patino Family

Jacob's father Ron also told PEOPLE of his son: "He was the sweetest kid you'd ever want to meet. [He had] the biggest heart in the world."

Danish Baig's father confirmed to PEOPLE that his son is the 27-year-old who died during the concert event. His brother, Ammar, said Danish died after saving his fiancée from being crushed at the show.

"He managed to get it to where she was able to get out," said Ammar. "That's the type guy he was — always put other people ahead of him."

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After the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences released a photo and asked for help from the public to identify an eighth victim, 21-year-old Axel Acosta's brother, Joel, shared a tribute on Facebook.

"Thank you to everyone who sent me information on my brother. He had been missing at AstroWorld in Houston," wrote Joel. "He is in a better place and I hope he knows we all loved him with all of our hearts."

Axel Acosta
Axel Acosta. Gofundme

"[There is] nothing of this magnitude that any of us can recall, certainly that I can recall, that has taken place in this city," Turner, 67, told reporters at Saturday's conference, adding that the incident is being "thoroughly investigated and reviewed."

Also killed during the event was 23-year-old Madison Dubiski, of Cypress, Texas.

She was attending Astroworld with her younger brother, Ty Dubiski, when they reportedly became separated during Scott's set, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Friend Riley Dimeo wrote on Facebook that Dubiski was her "best friend, secret keeper, sissy and soulmate."

"If you were fortunate enough to know mads you knew how beautiful, sweet, kind, generous, and loving she really was," Dimeo wrote. "She had a special way of making every single person she encountered in life feel special, appreciated, and accepted no matter what."

Friends told the Chronicle that Dubiski graduated from Cy-Fair High School in 2017, and was a varsity cheerleader and member of National Charity League, a community service organization for students and their mothers.

According to her Facebook profile, she attended the University of Mississippi and worked at Rhino Marketing Worldwide.

Madison Dubiski
Madison Dubiski. Facebook

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo is calling for an independent investigation into what occurred Friday evening and how it could have been prevented, if at all.

Eyewitnesses of the horrific events at Scott's Astroworld Festival on Friday describe 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, adding that there was "shoving" in the crowd.

"The barricade couldn't accommodate all the people that were there. They were too small. It was a death trap, basically."

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."

Nasser told CNN that he was "frustrated" when the concert continued despite the chaos on the ground. "I wanted the music to stop and I wanted everyone around me to realize what's going on. But people didn't have every much self-awareness. Kids were just going crazy and partying for the festival and they weren't actually paying attention to the bodies dropping behind them."

Security, he added, was not on par. "There wasn't enough security guards and there wasn't enough EMTs or people helping out in the crowd. The paramedics couldn't even reach the crowd."

Travis Scott performs during 2021 Astroworld Festival at NRG Park on November 05, 2021 in Houston, Texas.
Travis Scott. Erika Goldring/WireImage

Nasser also questions the number of people reportedly killed. He alleges 10 to 20 people died before ambulances were able to reach them after 30 to 45 minutes and believes there were "more than 100 bodies on the ground."

"I didn't know what to do. There was no way to help them. There was no exit, and everything was just blocked in.

A police officer who witnessed the incident told KPRC-TV that everything seemed to occur "all at once."

"It seemed like it happened over the course of just a few minutes," he told the station. "Suddenly we had several people down on the ground experiencing some type of cardiac arrest or medical episode and so we immediately started doing CPR and moving people."

One father that attended the event told ABC13 that, "People started pulling people over the railing to escape being suffocated and smashed."

Madeline Eskins, an ICU nurse, said the scene was "absolutely insane" in an interview with FOX 26.

"I've never seen anything like that in my life," Eskins told the outlet. "I am disturbed. Honestly, it should have been stopped."

Eskins also detailed her "terrible" experience at Astroworld early on Instagram Saturday morning.

Kylie Jenner Instagram
Kylie Jenner/Instagram

"I don't think i've ever been more disturbed. Some of these medical staff had little to no experience with CPR. didn't know how to check a pulse, carotid or femoral," she wrote in the caption.

"Compressions were being done without a pulse check so ppl who had a pulse were getting CPR," she added, "but meanwhile there was not enough people to rotate out doing compressions on individuals that were actually pulseless. The medical staff didn't have the tools to do their jobs."

Travis Scott performs on day one of the Astroworld Music Festival at NRG Park, in Houston 2021 Astroworld Festival - Day One, Houston, United States - 05 Nov 2021
Travis Scott. Amy Harris/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

In her post, Eskins claimed that she "passed out" after people began "pushing up against me so much that I couldn't breathe." She alleged that the crowd helped transfer her unconscious body to a security guard, who brought her to a section behind general admission to recover.

After coming to, Eskins said she looked around and saw people "getting carried out with their eyes rolled back into their heads" while bleeding from the nose and mouth.

A nearby security guard allegedly asked for her help after she asked if anyone had been checking for a pulse on potential victims.

"I told them I was an ICU nurse and then another security guard, hearing that, said 'please come help us,'" she recalled.

Another woman was captured on camera by multiple witnesses climbing up onto a platform where a cameraman was filming the concert and begging for help. In one clip posted on Twitter, the woman is heard screaming "There is somebody dead" at the cameraman, who then appears to argue with her.

Meanwhile, a male concertgoer climbs up a ladder and screams "Stop the show!" multiple times. The cameraman appears to urge the pair, who appear distressed, to get off the platform before returning to filming.

A reunification center has been set up at the Wyndham Hotel outside of NRG Park, with two emergency hotlines available for those who have yet to have contact with a loved one that attended the concert.

At the reunification center, one man told reporters that while he and his two friends were uninjured, they witnessed many concertgoers "pass out" and "get injured."

"I think Don Toliver was the first set and I was like, 'Yo! I'm kind of scared for my life in this moment,'" the man said, per KHOU. He added that "it felt like there was a million people there" and "you could barely catch your breath."

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When people started to fall down, the man said some fans "were being ignorant and just stomping [around] and not caring about the people that fell down."

A different concertgoer told reporters that his hands "were crushing my own chest" while he was in the crowd. "So I was panicking a little bit," he said, per KHOU, "and that's when I finally got out."

His friend later added that "it got to the point where we had to walk over people's bodies." "There's not much you can do when there's 50,000 people in one little area," he said.

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