Thursday, December 2, 2021

Aspiring border agents, dancers, engineers among those killed at Astroworld festival

A teenager who loved to dance. An aspiring Border Patrol agent. Computer science student. An engineering student is working on a medical device to help his ailing mother. And his friend and high school football teammate.

At the Astroworld music festival in Houston on Sunday, clear photos emerged of some of the eight people killed after fans suddenly turned to the stage during a performance by rapper Travis Scott.

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

Houston officials said the dead were between 14 and 27 years old. As of Sunday, 13 people were hospitalized.

City officials said they were in the early stages of investigating what caused the pandemic in a sell-out program set up by Scott. There were about 50 thousand people there.

Experts who have studied overcrowding deaths say they are often the result of condensation – too many people packed into a small space. The crowd often either runs away from a perceived threat or toward an artist before hitting an obstacle.

“Loved Your Mother”

Franco Patino, 21, was working towards a degree in mechanical engineering technology 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 intended to help people with disabilities.

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

Through tears, Patino described how his son – who enjoyed weightlifting, football and rugby – used his strength to break a door and free his mother from the rubble.

“He loved his mother,” Patino said. “He said everything he was doing, he was trying to help his mother. The whole goal.”

Julio Patino of Naperville, Illinois, was on business in London, when the phone rang at around 3 a.m., he answered it and heard his wife Teresa cry. She said that someone had called from the hospital about her 21-year-old son, Franco, and that soon a doctor would call him. After about 30 minutes, she called back on the line with the doctor.

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

Patino said he last spoke to his son around 2 p.m. Friday. Franco told his father that there were not yet many people at the venue.

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

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“Big Hole In Our Lives”

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

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

He will be remembered by his father, Ron Jurinek, with whom Jake became particularly close after the death of Jake’s mother in 2011.

“Since that decade, Jake and Ron were inseparable—participating in White Sox and Blackhawks games, sharing their love of professional wrestling, and visiting extended family and friends at the family cottage in Jake’s favorite place, southwestern Michigan. Spending the weekend together,” the family statement said.

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

“hard working man”

Danish Baig, who made his mark on Facebook as a district manager for AT&T, and appeared to be a devoted Dallas Cowboys fan, was among those killed at the concert, his brother Basil Baig said on Facebook.

“He was (a) innocent young soul who always put others before himself. He was a hardworking man who loved his family and took care of us. He was in a heartbeat for anything. He always had a solution for everything,” Basil Baig told ABC News.

Danish Baig was cremated on Sunday in Colleyville, Dallas-Forth Worth. Messages left with Tulsi Baig were not returned.

like to dance

Briana Rodriguez’s family told People magazine that she was among those killed 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.

computer science student

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

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

aspiring border agent

Rudy Pea, of Laredo, Texas, was a student at Laredo College and wanted to become a Border Patrol agent, said his friend Stacy Sarmiento. He described him as a folk person.

“Rudy was a close friend of mine,” she said. “We met in high school. He was an athlete… He brought happiness wherever he went. He was easy to get along with. It was like having positive vibes from him all the time.”

“We all had a good time … it was awful there,” she said.

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

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