Aspiring border agent, dancer and engineer among the dead at the concert | Texas News
By RANDALL CHASE and MIKE CATALINI, Associated Press
A teenager who loved to dance. An AT&T district manager. An aspiring border patrol officer. And an engineering student working on a medical device to help his sick mother.
Clearer images began to emerge on Sunday of some of the eight people who died after fans at the Astroworld music festival in Houston suddenly rushed to the stage during a performance by rapper Travis Scott.
Authorities said on Sunday that they would not release the names of the dead, but family and friends have shared accounts of loved ones with reporters and via social media. Mary Barton, spokeswoman for the office of the mayor of Houston, Sylvester Turner, said the identities were to be made public on Monday.
The dead were between 14 and 27, according to Houston officials. On Sunday, 13 people remained hospitalized.
City officials said they were in the early stages of investigating the causes of the pandemonium during the sold-out event founded by Scott. About 50,000 people were there.
Experts who have studied crowd influx deaths say they are often the result of density – too many people crammed into a small space. The crowd often runs away from a perceived threat or walks towards something, like an artist, before hitting a barrier.
Franco Patino, 21, was studying for a technology degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Dayton, with a minor in biomechanics of human movement, his father, Julio Patino, said in an interview. He was a member of Alpha Psi Lambda, a fraternity of Hispanic interest, and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, and worked in an engineering co-op program.
Patino described his son as a charismatic and energetic leader who was active in his community and determined to help people with disabilities.
He said his son was working with a team on a new medical device and wanted to find a way to help his mother walk again after being seriously injured in a car crash in Mexico two years ago.
Through tears, Patino described how his son – who loved weightlifting, football and rugby – used his strength to smash a door and free his mother from the wreckage.
“He loved his mother,” Patino said. “He said all he did was try to help his mother. The whole goal.
Julio Patino, of Naperville, Illinois, was in London on business when the phone rang around 3 a.m. He responded and heard his wife, Teresita, cry. She said someone had called from a hospital about their 21-year-old son, Franco, and a doctor would call him soon. About 30 minutes, she called back with the doctor online.
“The doctor told us the news of our son’s death,” Patino said.
Patino said he last spoke with his son around 2 p.m. Friday. Franco told his father that there were not many people at the festival site yet
“Don’t worry, I’m fine,” Patino remembers, telling his son. “I just said, ‘Okay, just be careful.'”
Danish Baig, who identified himself on Facebook as AT&T district manager and appeared to be a staunch fan of the Dallas Cowboys, was among those who died at the concert, his brother Basil Baig said on Facebook.
“He was (a) innocent young soul who would always put others before him. He was a hardworking man who loved his family and took care of us. He was there in the blink of an eye for everything. He always had a solution to everything, ”Basil Baig told ABC News.
A funeral for Danish Baig is scheduled for Sunday in Colleyville in the Dallas-Forth Worth area, his brother said. Messages left for Basil Baig were not returned.
Brianna Rodriguez’s family told People magazine that she was among those who perished at the concert. She was 16, a student at Heights High School and loved to dance, according to the family the magazine spoke to. A message left with the family was not immediately answered.
Rudy Pena, from Laredo, Texas, was a student at Laredo College and wanted to be a border patrol agent, his friend Stacey Sarmiento said. She described him as a human 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. It was easy to get along with him. It was like positive vibes from him all the time.”
“We all came to have a good time… it was just awful in there,” she added.
Associated Press editors Jamie Stengle and Juan Lozano in Houston contributed to this report. Chase reported from Dover, Delaware. Catalini reported from Trenton, New Jersey.
Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.