A Texas grand jury has decided not to charge rapper Travis Scott for the deaths that occurred during his 2021 Astroworld music festival, officials said Thursday. According to KHOU, the Harris County grand jury did not find enough evidence to criminally charge the rapper or others connected to the crush at the concert that led to the deaths of 10 people and injured many.
“It is tragic that 10 innocent people were killed while trying to enjoy an evening of music and entertainment, something many of us do routinely and without a second thought to our safety. But a tragedy isn’t always a crime, and not every death is a homicide. This grand jury’s determination has no impact on the many civil lawsuits pending,” District Attorney Kim Ogg said at a news conference.
About 50,000 people attended the November 5 Astroworld music festival at NRG Park organized by Scott when the crowd surged towards the stage causing a crush that led to the deaths of several people including 9-year-old Ezra Blount and many injured, Face2Face Africa reported.
Scott’s attorney Kent Schaffer said that the rapper stopped the show three times and did not know about the commotion. “Today’s decision by the Harris County District Attorney confirms what we have known all along — that Travis Scott is not responsible for the AstroWorld tragedy,” Schaffer said in a statement after the decision, according to NBC News. “This is consistent with investigative reporting by numerous media outlets and federal and state government reports that have squarely placed the onus for event safety crises on organizers, operators and contractors — not performers.”
The family of Blount, the 9-year-old killed in the crush, have expressed their disappointment in the grand jury’s decision. “There is clear culpability and gross negligent conduct committed by these various civil defendants directly resulting in deaths and serious injury. Though disappointed the grand jury declined to find this conduct was criminal, Ezra Blount’s family will continue and wait for their day in court,” Robert Hilliard, attorney for Ezra Blount’s family, said in a statement cited by NBC News.
“A Harris County jury, once given an opportunity to see the damning evidence leading up to causing this tragedy, may very well return a record Texas verdict against these defendants,” the statement added.
In his first interview in December 2021 following the Astroworld festival tragedy, Scott said what transpired on November 5 had left him in an “emotional rollercoaster.”
The rapper sat down with Charlamagne Tha God to discuss how he had been coping with the lawsuits that had been filed against him in the wake of the unfortunate incident. “It really hurts,” the rapper said about what happened. “It hurts the community, it hurts the city [Houston]. It’s just been a lot of thoughts, a lot feelings, a lot of grieving, and trying to wrap my head around it.”
“I’ve just been in a room for a while, a lot of thoughts. I’ve been doing this for such a long time and nothing like this ever happened… At the end of the day, these fans are your family, so you just feel like you lost something.”