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Travis Scott won’t be indicted for Astroworld concert tragedy that killed 10, grand jury decides

A Houston grand jury voted Thursday not to indict rap singer Travis Scott and five others on criminal charges in connection with the deaths of ten people at the 2021 Astroworld Festival in Houston when many fans fainted in a huge throng.

The grand jury’s decision to “no bill” — that is, not pursue criminal charges based on the information presented — the six defendants on all counts came nearly 20 months after Scott’s Nov. 5, 2021, music concert at NRG Park, which wounded hundreds. Scott, who is known for his dramatic shows, played for almost an hour as several fans begged for assistance.

“In this case, the grand jury of Harris County’s 228th district court found that no crime occurred,” county District Attorney Kim Ogg told reporters Thursday. “That no single individual was criminally responsible.”

The event drew widespread scrutiny as numerous warning signs, including concerns about insufficient event staff, a security gate breach early in the morning on the day of the concert, and communications breakdowns as revelers suffered, became clear in the days and weeks following the disaster.

Scott is still facing several lawsuits from hundreds of people who attended and were hurt during the chaos. On Thursday, a lawyer representing some of those victims pledged to continue seeking justice.

“While we are incredibly disappointed that Mr. Travis Scott will not be indicted on charges stemming from the senseless tragedies and chaos that occurred at Astroworld, we are undeterred and will continue fighting every day on behalf of the hundreds of injury victims – who simply intended to attend a concert for a night of fun – to ensure responsible parties are held accountable in the ongoing pursuit of justice,” Kevin Haynes said in a statement.

Following the tragedy, Governor Greg Abbott formed a task committee to investigate how to improve security at Texas events. In April 2022, the task team produced a nine-page report on concert safety. Though the study had factual errors, it offered many recommendations to improve safety, including that organizers form a single, on-site command and that stronger permitting processes be implemented for comparable events, among other things.

According to their review of video footage and witness accounts, Houston police investigators who led the 19-month investigation said on Thursday that all ten deaths, which included two concertgoers under the age of 15, occurred in a specific area of about 8,200 square feet near the main stage where Scott performed.

Overpopulation in that specific sector of the festival grounds, according to the investigators, was a crucial role in the deaths, resulting in a gradual constriction of the area, finally trapping attendees within the mob.

According to authorities, a crucial reason of the crowding was that fans began congregating near the stage hours before the main performance in anticipation of seeing Scott, who was headlining his own festival.

After a performance before Scott’s set concluded, concertgoers from another stage across the grounds walked to the already-crowded area in front of the main stage.

The cause of death for the people was determined to be compression asphyxia by the Harris County medical examiner, and the manner of death was determined to be accidents.

Houston Police Chief Troy Finner announced intentions to disclose an over 1,000-page criminal offense report compiled by detectives, a move he described as unusual and an effort to be honest.

“This incident was very complex,” Finner explained. “You can’t tell me everything that happened in two minutes.” To the families, first and foremost, but also to the public and everyone else: You may read it and realize the difficulties that everyone suffered that night.”

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Written by Anthony Peters