The Astroworld tragedy left 10 people dead and countless injured when concertgoers were crushed in a crowd surge during the rapper's performance.
Rapper Travis Scott will not be facing charges over the 2021 Astroworld tragedy in Houston, Texas, that left ten people dead and countless others injured after a crowd surge occurred during the rapper's set.
District Attorney Kim Ogg announced on Thursday, June 30, that "no single individual was criminally responsible" for the disaster, despite calls from victims' families and social media users for Scott to be held responsible for the deaths, which included nine-year-old fan Ezra Blount - the youngest victim of the tragedy.
Never forget that Travis Scott continued to perform at Astroworld as he watched some of his fans getting crushed and suffocated to death just a few feet away from him despite many begging for the concert to stop. He then went to an after-party after several died, including a… pic.twitter.com/jEv5x89yw0— LIZ CROKIN (@LizCrokin) June 29, 2023
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“In this instance, the grand jury of the 228th District Court of Harris County found that no crime did occur, that no single individual was criminally responsible,” the DA said.
“It is tragic that 10 innocent people were killed while trying to enjoy an evening of music and entertainment, something many of us do routinely and without a second thought to our safety. But a tragedy isn’t always a crime, and not every death is a homicide."
“This grand jury’s determination has no impact on the many civil lawsuits pending.”
Multiple lawsuits from the victims' families have been filed against Scott and other organisers, including the entertainment company Live Nation, though both have denied any allegations of negligence in relation to the promotion and planning of the festival.
“While waiting patiently for the District Attorney’s decision to not file charges, Travis Scott has been inaccurately and wrongly singled out, despite stopping the show three separate times and being unaware of the events as they were unfolding,” Scott’s spokesperson Ted Anastasiou told CNN Thursday (June 29).
“Now that this chapter is closed, we hope for the government efforts to focus on what is most important - stopping future heartbreaking tragedies like Astroworld from ever occurring again.”
Scott's attorney, Kent Schaffer, also told the publication that Scott was "ecstatic" over the ruling.
“It’s a huge weight that has been removed from his shoulders. He’s looking forward to getting back home after being cleared by the grand jury,” he said.
Over 50,000 people attended the Astroworld with artists including SZA, Bad Bunny, and 21 Savage backing up Scott, who was joined by special guest Drake during his set.
Scott had previously staged two Astroworld events, which were named after the hip hop star's massive second album of the same name from 2018 and featured his global smash hit Sicko Mode.
The 2021 tragedy occurred while Travis was on stage at around 9:00 p.m. on the evening of November 5, 2021, when the crowd had “began to compress toward the front of the stage," said Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña said during a news conference held on Saturday, November 6.
“At the start of the mass casualty incident, when it was triggered … We transferred 17 patients to the hospital,” Peña added.
In the end, 10 people lost their lives, eight of which died on the night of the concert: Mirza Baig, 27, Rodolfo Peña, 23, Madison Dubiski, 23, Franco Patiño, 21, Jacob Jurinke, 20, John Hilgert, 14, Axel Acosta, 21, from and Brianna Rodriguez, 16. Bharti Shahani, 22, and Ezra Blount, 9, died in the following days in hospital.
In a statement released following the disaster, Scott said he was “distraught by the situation and desperately wishes to share his condolences and provide aid to (the victims) as soon as possible.”