HOUSTON — At least half of the families whose loved ones died in the fatal Nov. 5 crowd surge during Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival in Houston have declined the rapper’s offer to pay funeral costs.
The 10 victims, who ranged in age from 9 to 27, hailed from Texas, Illinois and Washington and included high schoolers, an aspiring Border Patrol agent and a computer science student.
Rolling Stone reported on Monday that the family of the youngest victim, 9-year-old Ezra Blount, told Scott’s legal team they would not accept his money. The child died 10 days after being trampled in the stampede and being placed in a medically induced coma.
Attorneys representing four of the remaining nine victims confirmed to the magazine on Tuesday that they have already declined Scott’s offer to cover funeral expenses, opting instead to have their days in court.
Attorneys for the families of four of the victims confirmed to The Associated Press on Tuesday that they received a letter from Scott’s attorney, Daniel Petrocelli, in which the funeral expenses offer was extended.
“Travis is devastated by the tragedy that occurred at the Astroworld Festival and grieves for the families whose loved ones died or were injured. Travis is committed to doing his part to help the families who have suffered and begin the long process of healing in the Houston community,” Scott’s attorney, Daniel Petrocelli, wrote in the letter.
Meanwhile, attorneys representing the families of 21-year-old friends Jacob Jurinek and Franco Patino, 21-year-old Axel Acosta and 14-year-old John Hilgert all described Scott’s offer as an “attempt to lessen public pressure rather than a genuine display of remorse,” Rolling Stone reported.
“Of all the things this case is about, that’s the least of any concern. This family is set on making change and ensuring this never happens at a concert again. I find offering to pay for funerals frankly demeaning and really inappropriate to the magnitude of the tragedy that unfolded,” Richard Mithoff, the attorney representing the Hilgert family, told the magazine.
In addition to the 10 people killed when the estimated crowd of 50,000 rushed the main stage as Scott performed, some 300 wounded people were treated at the festival site and 13 were hospitalized.
Scott and the event organizers are the focus of a criminal investigation by Houston police. No timetable has been set for when the investigation would be completed.
-- The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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