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Police Launch Criminal Investigation into Astroworld Deaths and Injuries

Police Launch Criminal Investigation into Astroworld Deaths and Injuries

The tragic crush at the Astroworld Festival that left concertgoers dead and injured in Texas this month resulted in multiple lawsuits. Police have also launched a criminal investigation into the incident.

At least 10 people died and hundreds more were hurt after a crowd surge on the opening night of the festival in Houston on Nov. 5 during rapper Travis Scott’s concert.

The incident is the subject of a probe by both the Houston Police Department and the FBI, Newsweek reported.

Newsweek reported that the investigation may be complicated because of the large number of people and entities involved. Investigators are examining scores of videos taken by attendees.

The criminal investigation is focused on many questions including whether Scott should have stopped the show earlier. Houston Fire Chief Samuel Pena said he believes Scott should have halted the show as the chaos became apparent, Newsweek reported.

Authorities said protocols for a potential crowd surge were not listed in the Astroworld Festival’s event operation plans.

BBC News reported the police investigation into the Astroworld tragedy will involve the homicide and narcotics divisions. Investigators will review video from the scene to determine what caused the surge and why people could not escape.

The report noted several attendees had to be revived with anti-drug overdose medicine, including a security officer who police said appeared to have an injection mark on his neck.

However, a concern raised by Houston Police Chief Troy Finner that a security officer was pricked in the neck by a drug needle was later retracted.

Finner subsequently said the security guard was hit over the head and woke up in a tent. Nobody injected him with drugs.

CBS News reported the police chief declined to give a definitive timeline of how the deadly chaos unfolded, saying it was too early in the investigation to be sure. However, he said police told personnel in charge of the event to close down the show when at least one person was receiving CPR. 

CBS reported the festival had ample security including 530 Houston police officers and 755 additional private security officers from Live Nation inside NRG Park.

Scott later said he was not aware of the severity of the situation while he was performing on stage.

A lawsuit has been filed on behalf of more than 280 concertgoers naming Apple Music, Scott, the rapper Drake and Live Nation as defendants. The plaintiffs say they cut corners to reduce costs.

Although no charges have been brought to date, Texas recognizes an offense of criminal negligence.

The Texas Penal Code recognizes the offense when a person “acts with criminal negligence, or is criminally negligent, with respect to circumstances surrounding his conduct or the result of his conduct when he ought to be aware of a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the circumstances exist or the result will occur.”

Our experienced Dallas-based criminal defense lawyers represent people who are charged with criminal negligence and other crimes. Please contact us at (214) 720-9552.