Best friends celebrating birthday at Astroworld are identified among eight killed during stampede

TRAGEDY during Travis Scott’s Astroworld concert: Eight people died after a crowd surge during the festival, including a 14-year-old boy. 

  • On Friday, November 5, at a Travis Scott concert, 8 people lost their lives during a crowd surge. 
  • The youngest victim is a 14-year-old boy named John Hilgert.
  • Other identified victims are Franco Patino, 21, Jacob Jurinek, 20, Axel Acosta, 21, Danish Baig, 27, Brianna Rodriguez, 16, and Rodolfo ‘Rudy’ Peña, 23. 

Police are still identifying the victims who tragically lost their lives following a crowd surge during Travis Scott’s Astroworld concert. The latest to be named are two Illinois best friends, Franco Patino, 21, and Jacob Jurinek, 20. The pair were celebrating Jurinek’s upcoming birthday.

Credits: The Patino & the Jurinek families

As Daily Mail reports, Franco and Jacob grew up together in Naperville. Patino’s brother, Cesar, commented:

“They met in elementary school [in Naperville] and were best friends every step of each other lives.”

Credits: Twitter

Franco was studying engineering at the University of Dayton, while Jacob was studying journalism at Southern Illinois University. Following the devastating incident, SIU Chancellor Austin A. Lane said in a statement:

“We are brokenhearted to lose a member of the Saluki family, Jacob Jurinek, and we extend our deepest condolences to his family and friends. Jacob was a creative, intelligent young man, with a promising career in journalism and advertising. As we mourn this loss in our community, we will keep Jacob’s family and friends in our thoughts.”

The youngest victim who was fatally crushed at the stampede was the 14-year-old boy John Hilgert. 

John was a ninth-grader at Houston’s Memorial High School. He was a talented baseball player and one of the most popular students amongst his classmates.

Credits: Instagram | Facebook

A spokesman for Spring Branch ISD said:

“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. 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.”

Furthermore, John’s baseball coach, Justin Higgs, paid tribute to the young boy. On his Instagram page, he wrote:

“RIP John Hilgert. He got the Call up to the Major Leagues by the Almighty! John made an impact on anyone who met him and they always remembered him. I have memories of John I’ll never forget.

You had to love the kid. No option not too cause he was who he was. He loved the game if baseball. Was a privilege to coach this young man. Many prayers go out to any of his friends, teammates, and his family… especially Ms. Hilgert.

One of the nicest human beings I’ve ever met. John was an Angel the whole time I knew him… impacting others for good and he himself was a legend. The legend of John. Will meet again John. Till then watch over us my friend. Catcher, pitcher, shortstop, great kid. Lived his life to the fullest. 🙏🏻

Another victim of the concert surge was 21-year-old Axel Acosta.

As per KTRK, Axel had traveled alone from Washington to see rapper Travis Scott take the stage at NRG Park.

Credits: KTRK

The 21-year-old man celebrated his birthday just weeks before the heart-wrenching incident. He had been studying computer science at Western Washington University.

Axel’s father, Edgar Acosta, said he had struggled to file a missing person’s report in the wake of the deadly crush because the family lives out of state.

Meanwhile, the brother of another victim, Danish Baig, 27, slammed the “poorly” managed event.

Credits: Facebook

Basil Baig, Danish’s brother, posted on Facebook:

“My brother was killed in this horrendous Astroworld event that was managed poorly and supervised by such horrible people. People were trampled, walked, and stomped on. My brother tried to save my sister-in-law from these horrendous acts that were being done to her in the process he lost his life…

I am lost of words and in true trauma from this event. I was there and i wasnt able to save my brother. People were hitting pushing and shoving and did not care for anyones life. 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. “

Amongst the victims are also Brianna Rodriguez, 16, and Rodolfo ‘Rudy’ Peña, 23.

Brianna was a dancer and a high school junior.

Credits: Iris Rodriguez / Facebook

After losing her, her devastated family wrote on Facebook:

“Gone from our sites, but never from our hearts. It is with profound sadness we lay to rest our beloved Brianna Rodriguez. She was a beautiful vibrant 16-year-old high school junior at Heights HS in Houston TX. Dancing was her passion and now she’s dancing her way to heaven’s pearly gates.”

Rodriguez’s family has set up a GoFundMe page where donators can help them with funeral expenses amid the tragedy.

Rodolfo was an aspiring 23-year-old model with big dreams of becoming a U.S. Border Patrol agent. To attend the concert, he drove five hours from Laredo to Houston with his friends. Horribly, he died of cardiac arrest amid the Astroworld chaos.

Credits: Facebook

Speaking to the Laredo Morning Times, his sister said:

“My brother was the sweetest person, friendly, outgoing, he had many friends because he was always there for everyone. Yes, he was a big fan of Travis, he loved his music.”

There were about 50,000 people at the Astroworld Festival. 

According to witnesses, the surge broke down after Travis Scott got on stage. At one point, the 29-year-old rapper can be seen pausing the show and calling security to check up on the disturbance amongst his fans. However, at the time, he was oblivious to the fact that people were dying during his show.

On his IG stories, Scott, who is about to become a father for the second time, apologized to his fans and the families of the people who lost their lives that night. He said:

“My fans really mean the world to me… I could just never imagine the severity of the situation… I’m honestly just devastated.” 

The rapper also urged his followers to contact their local authorities in case they have any information about the incident.

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