Houston Police Chief Troy Finner allegedly visited rapper Travis Scott, whom he knows personally, to speak on concerns regarding the crowd before the deadly Astroworld concert took place.
The concert, held in Houston, turned to chaos as a crowd surge crushed concertgoers leaving many people trampled and gasping for air as a wall of people pushed toward the stage. Eight people were reported dead in the mayhem, including a 14 and 16-year-old, with hundreds more injured as mosh pits formed and aggressive pushing and shoving took place in the compact crowd.
It was declared a mass casualty event 40 minutes after spectators began to be harmed. There are videos of concertgoers screaming for help, even attempting to climb on the stage to tell cameramen and other staff to stop the show to no avail.
Travis Scott maintains his stance that he did not know about the severity of the situation. The rapper has a history of inciting violence and riots at his events. He has even been arrested twice and sued by a fan who became paralyzed after Scott encouraged to him jump off a balcony thinking the crowd would catch him.
News about the conversation between Travis Scott and Chief Finner comes as at least one concertgoer is currently suing the rapper and the event’s promoters Live Nation and ScoreMore over the “predictable and preventable tragedy.” More lawsuits are expected to take place.
“Defendants failed to properly plan and conduct the concert in a safe manner,” lawyers for Manuel Souza, who says he was injured in the mayhem, said in papers filed Saturday in Harris County District Court.
Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña believes more could have been done to stop the show sooner.
“The one person who can really call for and get a tactical pause when something goes wrong is that performer. They have that bully pulpit and they have a responsibility,” Peña told the NY Post in a telephone interview Sunday.
“If somebody would have said, ‘Hey, shut this thing down and turn on the lights until this thing gets corrected’ — and that coming from the person with the mic — I think could have been very helpful,” he added.