Travis Scott will not be charged over the crowd rush that left 10 dead and thousands injured at Astroworld Festival, a Texas grand jury decided on Thursday. The decision came after 19 months of investigation into the tragedy that occurred at the music festival in November 2021.
“Our investigators and prosecutors gave it everything they had to ensure that the grand jury could reach the truth,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said, according to Reuters.
Five others, including Live Nation festival manager Brent Silberstein, won’t be charged either.
“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,” Ogg said in a news conference. “This grand jury’s determination has no impact on the many civil lawsuits pending.”
Ten people died of compression asphyxia as the crowd of about 50,000 people pushed toward the stage as Scott started his set. Casualties included 9-year-old Ezra Blount, and victims between the ages of 14 and 27, reported NBC News. At least 4,900 people were injured, according to lawyers representing the victims.
Several lawsuits filed against Scott and the festival’s organizers remain pending. The plaintiffs allege they let too many people inside the venue despite knowing the risks.
“There is clear culpability and gross negligent conduct committed by these various civil defendants directly resulting in deaths and serious injury,” Robert Hilliard, an attorney for Ezra Blount’s family, said in a statement. “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. 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.”
Kent Schaffer, Scott’s attorney, said the news comes as confirmation that Scott was not responsible and that the rapper’s actions have been inaccurately portrayed.
“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,” he said. “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.”
He added that Scott is now ready to look forward.
“We’re really relieved and grateful that this is over. It’s been a long 18 months for Travis. He’s lost out on a lot of opportunities,” he said. “So now, hopefully, he’s free to move forward with his career and resume some of these things that he had been doing before.”