Photo: Getty Images
  /  11.09.2021

In an interview with NBC’s “TODAY,” Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña said Travis Scott “absolutely” should have cut his headlining Astroworld set short on Friday (Nov. 5), which ultimately left eight people dead and hundreds more injured.

“We all have a responsibility. Everybody at that event has a responsibility starting from the artist on down,” Peña told the outlet on Tuesday (Nov. 9). “The artist has command of that crowd.”

He continued, “In my opinion, and this is my opinion right now because everything is gonna be fleshed out throughout this investigation, but certainly the artist… if he notices something that’s going on… he can certainly pause that performance, turn on the lights and say ‘Hey, we’re not gonna continue until this thing is resolved.’”

Peña noted that with the show continuing, an ambulance had difficulty getting to injured attendees in the chaotic crowd. Other evidence showed, he said, that some concertgoers tried to get help from the private security guards near Scott’s stage.

“It seems as though the crowd began to push toward the front to get as close to the stage as they could when Mr. Scott’s set began,” Peña explained. “What was happening is the barricades that were placed to prevent that surge toward the stage in essence caused other areas of pinch points. As the crowd began to surge and push and compress toward the front, it was those people in the center that began to get crushed.”

Houston’s fire department has been helping the Houston Police Department in its investigation into the deadly festival. Peña noted that the joint investigation is still “in its infancy” and said there is currently no evidence that Scott promoted the crowd surge. The fire chief couldn’t say whether the “Escape Plan” rapper was “fully aware” of the ensuing chaos during his set, either.

As reported by REVOLT, Houston Police Chief Troy Finner previously defended Scott’s continued set and said stopping the show might have caused a riot. However, according to The New York Times, Finner did share his “concerns about the energy in the crowd” with the rapper prior to his performance.


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