Astroworld Festival Victims Remembered During Vigil at Houston Catholic Church

Tags: Currents Death, Death Toll, Faith, Hispanic Catholics, Houston, Media, World News

By Currents News Staff and Bill Miller

HOUSTON— A prayer vigil was held Sunday at a Catholic Church in downtown Houston, Texas, for eight fans of rapper Travis Scott who were killed in a crowd surge at his Astroworld Festival concert Friday night, Nov. 5.

A handful of people gathered in the Church of the Annunciation to pray for the victims, who ranged in age from 14 to 27. Some were Texans, but others had traveled from out-of-state to see the show. One was still unidentified Monday morning.

According to The New York Times, seven of the eight victims were:

  •  Franco Patino, 21, from Naperville, Ill., who was studying mechanical engineering at the University of Dayton, Ohio.
  • John Hilgert, 14, a high school freshman in a community just outside Houston. He reportedly was the youngest of the victims.
  •  Brianna Rodriguez, 16, who attended Heights High School in Houston and aspired to be a dancer.
  • Rudy Peña, 23, of Laredo, who traveled to Houston from his home in South Texas to see the concert.
  • Danish Baig, 27, who was from Dallas.
  • Jacob Jurinek, 23, who was from the Chicago area and studied art and media at Southern Illinois University.
  •  Axel Acosta, 21, who was a computer science student at Western Washington University. His family told local media the Scott performance was the first time Acosta attended a festival-sized concert.

Although the Sunday-evening prayer vigil was lightly attended, it was promoted on Twitter Saturday by local furniture-store owner Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale.

He tweeted: “We pray for those taken away too soon, the injured and the family members who lost someone last night at the Astroworld festival.”

An estimated 50,000 people attended the festival, authorities said. Police and fire department officials expressed concerns leading up to the event because Scott, a Houston native, was known for urging concert audiences to react physically to his performances.

Scott, however, posted a video on Instagram Saturday to express sorrow over the deaths. In a voice laced with anguish, the rapper said he was cooperating with authorities, and he encouraged others to do the same.

“We’re actually working right now to identify the families so we can help assist them through this tough time,” Scott said. “My fans really mean the world to me and (I) always just really want to leave them with a positive experience.”

Scott said that, whenever he’d see things get out of hand at his shows, he’d stop the shop so that fans in peril could “get the help they need.” According to media reports, witnesses said that didn’t happen on Friday.

“I’m honestly just devastated,” Scott continued. “I could never imagine anything like this just happening. We’ve been working closely with everyone to get to the bottom of this — HPD and the Fire Department — you know, everyone to help us figure this out. So if you have any information, please just contact your local authorities.”