Dallas

Heroic Fiancé, Dancer, Engineer Among Astroworld Victims

A teen who loved dancing. A computer science student. An engineering student working on a medical device to help his ailing mother. And his friend and high school football teammate.

Clearer pictures began to emerge Sunday of some of the eight people who died after fans at the Astroworld music festival in Houston suddenly surged toward the stage during a performance by rapper Travis Scott.

Authorities said Sunday they wouldn’t release the names of the dead, but family members and friends shared accounts of their loved ones with journalists and through social media. Mary Benton, a spokeswoman in Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner’s office, said identities were expected to be made public on Monday.

The dead ranged from 14 to 27 years old, according to Houston officials. As of Sunday, 13 people remained hospitalized.

City officials said they were in the early stages of investigating what caused the pandemonium at the sold-out event founded by Scott. About 50,000 people were there.

Experts who have studied deaths caused by crowd surges say they are often a result of density — too many people packed into a small space. The crowd is often either running away from a perceived threat or toward something, such as a performer, before hitting a barrier.

Franco Patino, 21

Two lifelong friends from Naperville were among the eight people who died Friday when a stampede occurred at a Houston music festival. NBC 5’s Christian Farr has the details.

Franco Patino, 21, was working toward a mechanical engineering technology degree at the University of Dayton, with a minor in human movement biomechanics, his father, Julio Patino, said in an interview. He was a member of Alpha Psi Lambda, a Hispanic interest fraternity, and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, and was working in an engineering co-op program.

Patino described his son as a charismatic, energetic leader who was active in his community and intent on helping people with disabilities.

He said his son was working with a team on a new medical device, and that he wanted to find a way to help his mother walk again after she was severely injured in an automobile accident in Mexico two years ago.

Through tears, Patino described how his son — who enjoyed weight lifting, football and rugby — used his strength to break a door and free his mom from the wreckage.

“He loved his mom,” Patino said. “He said everything that he was doing, it was trying to help his mom. The entire goal.”

Julio Patino, of Naperville, Illinois, was in London on business when the phone rang around 3 a.m. He answered it and heard his wife, Teresita, crying. She said someone had called from a hospital about their 21-year-old son, Franco, and that a doctor would be calling her soon. About 30 minutes, she called back with the doctor on the line.

“The doctor was giving us the news that our son had passed away,” Patino said.

Patino said he had last spoken with his son about 2 p.m. Friday. Franco told his dad that there weren’t a lot a people at the festival site yet

“Don’t worry, I’m fine,” Patino recalled his son saying. “I just said, ‘Ok, just be careful.‘”

Jacob Jurinek, 20

Jacob Jurinek (Photo courtesy Jurinek family)

Jacob “Jake” Jurinek, 20, was a junior at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, where he was “pursuing his passion for art and media,” his family said in a statement Sunday. He was just a over two weeks short of his 21st birthday.

He was attending the concert with Patino, his friend and former high school football teammate, according to Patino’s father Julio Patino. He was deeply committed to his family and was known as “Big Jake” by his younger cousins.

He will be missed by his father, Ron Jurinek, with whom Jake became especially close after Jake’s mother died in 2011.

“In the decade since, Jake and Ron were inseparable – attending White Sox and Blackhawks games, sharing their love of professional wrestling, and spending weekends with extended family and friends at Jake’s favorite place, the family cottage in Southwestern Michigan,” the family’s statement said.

“We are all devastated and are left with a huge hole in our lives,” his father, Ron Jurinek, added in an emailed statement.

Danish Baig, 27

Danish Baig, left, was one of eight people killed during a Travis Scott concert in Houston on Friday, Nov. 5, 2021.


Baig Family

Danish Baig, left, was one of eight people killed during a Travis Scott concert in Houston on Friday, Nov. 5, 2021.

Danish Baig, 27, who identified himself on Facebook as a district manager for AT&T, and appeared to be a devoted Dallas Cowboys fan, was among those who died at the the concert.

His brother Basil Baig told NBC DFW he was killed while saving his fiancée from getting trampled. She made it out alive, but he did not.

“You go to a concert to have fun, you don’t go to a concert to die,” Basil Baig said.

His funeral was held Sunday in Colleyville in the Dallas-Forth Worth area. Basil called for justice for his brother and the others who died at the concert.

“We lost our brother. We’re grieving for all the families that lost their loved ones in this horrendous event,” Basil said. “Travis Scott’s team… everybody who was associated with this should be held accountable for the lives that were lost. We’re grieving. We’re in pain. We want you guys to know. Our brother was the most amazing person ever to us.”

Brianna Rodriguez, 16

Brianna Rodriguez’s family told People magazine that she was among those who perished at the concert. She was 16, a student at Heights High School and loved dancing, according to the family the magazine spoke with. A message left with the family was not immediately answered.

Axel Acosta, 21

Axel Acosta, 21, was a computer science major at Western Washington University. His father, Edgar Acosta, told KOMO-TV his son was among the victims who died at the festival.

The school in Bellingham, Washington, released a statement Sunday: “By all accounts, Axel was a young man with a vibrant future. We are sending our condolences to his family on this very sad day.”

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Associated Press writers Jamie Stengle and Juan Lozano in Houston contributed to this report. Chase reported from Dover, Delaware. Catalini reported from Trenton, New Jersey.



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