During a news conference Saturday (Nov. 6) about the tragedy that claimed eight lives during Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival on Friday (Nov. 5) night, Houston Police Chief Troy Finner confirmed a report about an officer receiving a needle prick from an unknown person.
“We do have a report of a security officer, according to the medical staff that treated him last night, that he was reaching over to restrain or grab a citizen and he felt a prick in his neck,” Finner said during the news conference. The security officer went unconscious, was treated with Narcan and was successfully revived. Medical staff treating the security officer later noticed evidence of a prick mark in the man’s neck consistent with that of an injection.
During the same press conference, Fire Chief Samuel Peña confirmed “there were several, many instances where they administered Narcan on the scene.” Later, when asked by press whether any person other than the aforementioned security officer was pricked by an unknown needle, Finner replied, “Right now we have that one.”
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner confirmed at the press conference that took place shortly after 3pm local time that the number of fatalities remained at eight. The ages of seven of those who died ranged from 14-27 years old. One male victim of the incident has yet to be identified. The Mayor added that six of the eight families have been notified.
As of this afternoon, 13 of the 25 people rushed to the hospital last night are still there. Four of those taken to the hospital have been discharged. One of the 25 injured has been confirmed as a 10-year-old who remains in critical condition.
In addition to the reported injection, Finner said, “There were some individuals that were trampled.” Houston authorities are awaiting autopsy results and plan to provide more information once all eight families of those killed are contacted.
Houston’s Institute of Forensic Sciences is tasked with identifying the individuals and their causes of death. Lina Hidalgo, judge for Harris County where NRG Stadium resides, said at the press conference, “I and my team have been on the phone with all of the relevant agencies trying to untangle as much as we can about what may have led to this. The roles like Live Nation, the City of Houston and Harris County had in any of this.”
Hidalgo added: “It may well be that this tragedy is the result of unpredictable events of circumstances coming together that couldn’t have possibly been avoided. But until we determine that, I will ask the tough questions.”
She went on to say that security and safety plans were put together by Live Nation, the City of Houston and Harris County to put on Astroworld. According to numbers provided by Live Nation and the Houston Police Department, there were 528 HPD officers and an additional 755 private security members on site last night when the incidents occurred. The number is an increase from previous years after Astroworld had fans breach the barricades in 2019 as well.
“Perhaps the plans were inadequate. Perhaps the plans were good, but they weren’t followed,” Hidalgo said. “Perhaps it was something else entirely.”
Chief Peña said, “I believe we had a robust plan for a ‘non-event.’ The level of injuries, the number of people in the venue, quickly overwhelmed the third party vendors that were providing security and the medical component.” He continued that the fire department had to augment those who were already at the venue, with 62 units responding.
Houston officials said they would be receiving more footage tonight to help determine what happened at the festival. Live Nation and Scott’s team are said to be fully cooperating with the investigation.
“This is an artist we know has a following particularly of young people with bright futures. Those are the people who went there to have a good time and no one, no parent, no friend, no sibling, should see their loved one off to a concert by a world-renowned artist and not be able to expect them to come home,” said Hidalgo.