The Houston Fire Chief is speaking out about the role Travis Scott played in the Astroworld Festival tragedy over the weekend.
On Friday, November 5, Scott, 30, was performing on stage in Houston, Tex., when a chaotic crowd surge left 8 concertgoers dead and over 300 injured.
The “Sicko Mode” rapper is now being publicly scrutinized after he kept performing and reportedly disregarded the members of the crowd who were being trampled.
Chief Samuel Peña of the Houston Fire Department insisted during an appearance on the Today show on Tuesday, November 9, that he believes the musical artist “absolutely” should have done more to stop the tragedy.
“We all have our responsibility,” Peña said in a virtual interview on the show on Tuesday morning. “Everybody at that event has a responsibility, starting from the artist on down. Certainly, as soon as they became aware... And there was evidence that the crowd itself was trying to approach some of their private security that was closer to that stage, that something was wrong."
New video footage from the festival shows that Scott was aware of some commotion going on in the crowd, and that he even acknowledged the ambulance that was trying to make its way through the crowd.
“There’s an ambulance out th–whoa, whoa, whoa,” Scott said on stage at the time before pausing for several seconds to stare into the crowd, per CNN.
“What the f**k is that?” he asked in disbelief, before telling the crowd seconds later, “If everybody could put their middle finger up in the sky.”
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Other videos circulating online show concertgoers screaming for help in the midst of the chaos, including a clip of one fan who tried telling show crew members that “people were dying,” but was turned away.
8 members of the audience, ranging from ages 14 to 27, ended up losing their lives in the event, while hundreds more were seriously injured by the stampede.
“We’re starting to get some picture of what may have caused this incident,” Peña said earlier in the interview. “It seems as though the crowd began to try to push towards the front to get as close to the stage as they could when Mr. Scott’s set began. And what was happening is the barricades that were placed to prevent the surge toward the stage, in essence, caused other areas of pinch points. And as the crowd began to surge and push and compress towards the front, it was those people in the center that began to get crushed, and the injuries started to begin.”
“We’re still trying to determine what caused the crowd to begin that surge, but certainly we’re looking at everything,” he added. “We’re participating with the Houston Police Department, who’s taken the lead on this investigation.”
It is unclear whether or not Scott will be found responsible for the deadly tragedy, but he has already been hit with at least more than a dozen lawsuits and counting.
Scott’s baby mama, Kylie Jenner was in attendance, along with their tot Stormi, before they were eventually escorted out of the venue during the chaos.
Jenner has since taken to social media to claim that she and Scott were unaware of fatalities in the audience until after the show was over, insisting that the rapper definitely would have stopped the show if he knew.
On Monday, November 8, it was announced that Scott will be covering funeral costs for those who did not survive the fatal crowd surge.