What we know about the victims of the Astroworld Festival tragedy

FAN Editor

At least eight people, including two teenagers, were killed and scores more were injured following a crowd surge at Houston’s Astroworld Festival late Friday. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said the victims’ ages ranged from 14 to 27.

According to the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences, the exact cause of death for each of the victims has not yet been determined.

Rapper Travis Scott, who was performing during the surge, said in a statement Saturday that he was “absolutely devastated by what took place,” and his girlfriend Kylie Jenner, who was at the concert, posted on Instagram that “Travis and I are broken and devastated.”

Here is what we know about the victims so far:

John Hilgert

John Hilgert was a freshman at Memorial High School in Houston, Texas, according to his school district. 

“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,” Spring Branch ISD said in a statement. “Please keep the student’s family in your thoughts and prayers as they face this tragedy. We will make counselors available to students next week to offer any help and support needed.” 

The district said a special memorial will be held for Hilgert at 5 p.m. CT on Sunday, CBS Houston affiliate KHOU reported. 

Music Festival Deaths
Two people who knew an unidentified victim of a fatal incident at the Houston Astroworld concert embrace at a memorial on Sunday, Nov. 7, 2021. Robert Bumsted / AP

Franco Patino

Franco Patino, 21, was a University of Dayton student, according to a campus-wide email. Patino, originally from Naperville, Illinois, was a mechanical engineering technology major with a minor in human movement biomechanics, the school said.

In a statement, Patino’s family said he was a graduate of the class of 2018 at Neuqua Valley High School in Naperville. During his time there, he was involved with the football, wrestling and rugby teams for four years.

“Franco was a beloved friend, cousin, nephew, brother, and son,” his family said. “He was loved by so many because of the loyal, loving, selfless, protective, funny, and caring person he was. Even though he was a hardworking individual, he would always try to make time for his family and the people he cared about. We will miss the big heart Franco had and his passion for helping others. We’re glad Franco always tried to live life to the fullest and are glad to know he was the type of person that would put himself before others until the very end.”

According to CBS Chicago, Patino was attending the concert with his friend Jacob Jurinek, who also died on Friday.

The university said Patino was a member of Alpha Psi Lambda, a Hispanic interest fraternity, and was active in the Greek and Multi-Ethnic Education and Engagement Center on campus. 

“On behalf of Alpha Psi Lambda National Inc., we extend our condolences to his family, friends, Alpha Nu Chapter and all that share in this loss,” Alpha Psi Lambda said in a statement. “May his memory be eternal.”

Patino was also a member of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and was working in an engineering coop program in Mason, Ohio, the school said. 

Jacob Jurinek

Jacob Jurinek, 20, was also a Naperville native and a junior at Southern Illinois University — Carbondale, according to a statement from his family.

“Jake was beloved by his family and by his seemingly countless number of friends for his contagious enthusiasm, his boundless energy, and his unwavering positive attitude,” his family said. “He was an avid fan of music, an artist, a son, a best friend to many, and a loving and beloved cousin, nephew, and grandson. Always deeply committed to his family, he was affectionately known as ‘Big Jake’ by his adoring younger cousins, a name befitting of his larger-than-life personality.”

His family said he and his father, Ron Jurinek, were best friends and “inseparable,” especially after the 2011 death of his mother, Alison. The pair enjoyed going to Chicago White Sox and Blackhawks games, shared a love of professional wrestling and spent weekends with extended family and friends at Jacob Jurinek’s favorite place, the family cottage in Southwestern Michigan.

“We are all devastated and are left with a huge hole in our lives,” said Ron Jurinek. “Right now, we ask for the time and space for our family to process this tragic news and begin to heal. We’re comforted by the fact that the hundreds of people Jake touched over the years will carry a piece of his spirit with them.”

Austin Lane, chancellor of Southern Illinois University — Carbondale, described Jurinek in a statement as a “creative, intelligent young man, with a promising career in journalism and advertising.”

Rudy Peña

Rudy Peña’s sister, Jennifer Peña, confirmed her brother’s death to the Laredo Morning Times. Jennifer Peña told the paper they learned just after midnight that Rudy had been taken to the hospital unconscious, and later learned he had died. 

Peña’s brother-in-law Sergio Gonzalez said they learned of his death “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 told People. “It wasn’t until this afternoon that we found out he had died.”   

“It’s devastating knowing that you’re no longer with us,” Jennifer Peña posted on Facebook. “You left a mark that can never be erased. The memories we’ve created will never be forgotten. You were always an amazing person and never failed to laugh or dance. We will never forget you.”

Mirza Danish Baig

Mirza Danish Baig’s brother posted on Facebook that he died after he “tried to save my sister in law from these horrendous acts that were being done to her.”

“My brother was killed in this horrendous event that was managed poorly and supervised by such horrible people,” Basil Mirza Baig wrote on Facebook. “People were trampled, walked, and stomped on.”

Basil Mirza Baig said he was at the concert and “tried to save my brother.” 

“People were hitting pushing and shoving and did not care for anyones life,” he wrote. “Travis Scott provoked these people and made them do just that and more he called people to the stage to jump into the crowd and did not stop the show.”

Basil Mirza Baig described his brother as a “beautiful soul” whose “smile would light up the room and put everyone before himself.”

“In this time of mourning and grief and such pain, I would like everyone to pray for my family and my brother,” he wrote. “This is not the end my family and I will go to the full extent to make sure he is brought to justice.”

Brianna Rodriguez

Brianna Rodriguez, 16, was a junior at Heights High School in Houston.

The school’s band tweeted in remembrance of Rodriguez, writing she performed with the band and was “someone who could always make anyone smile.”

Axel Acosta Avila

Axel Acosta Avila, 21, was from Tieton, Washington, according to an attorney for his family. Houston lawyer Tony Buzbee is representing the family as well as 10 concertgoers who were injured.

Madison Dubiski

Madison Dubiski, 23, was from Cypress, Texas, according to Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo. According to the Houston Chronicle, Dubiski graduated in 2017 from Cy-Fair High School and was a varsity cheerleader and member of the National Charity League, a community service organization for mothers and daughters in grades 7-12.

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