A 9-year-old boy suffered brain trauma when he was trampled in the crowd surge during Travis Scott's set at the Astroworld Festival in Houston on Friday, civil rights lawyer Benjamin Crump said Monday. "This little boy had his whole life ahead of him—a life that is currently hanging in the balance because of the reckless mismanagement that ensued at the Astroworld Festival," Crump added, per NBC News, noting the boy was hospitalized in a medically induced coma. Hundreds were injured among the crowd of 50,000. Eight people died. The latest on the tragedy, including the first public comments from rapper Drake, who joined Scott on stage:
- Drake: "My heart is broken for the families and friends of those who lost their lives and for anyone who is suffering," Drake, a surprise guest at Friday’s event, wrote Monday on Instagram. "I will continue to pray for all of them, and will be of service in any way I can. May God be with you all."
- Lawsuits: Drake is among those named in lawsuits filed by attendees who claim serious physical and emotional stress, TMZ reports. Nearly 20 lawsuits have already been filed or announced, per NBC. One suit, also naming the management agency of the NRG Park venue, involves 35 plaintiffs, per ABC News.
- Scott criticism, I: The rapper, who completed his set after pausing to request help for attendees in distress, later said he had no idea about the horror that was unfolding. But critics say he should have anticipated the dangers, particularly after two convictions (in 2018 and 2015) related to his calls for fans to rush the stage at his concerts, per the Washington Post.
- Scott criticism, II: "Travis Scott should watch this clip of Chester Bennington of Linkin Park handling a crowd," reads a tweet viewed more than 6.6 million times, per the Post. It includes old footage of Linkin Park band members pausing one of their shows after seeing someone fall in the crowd, and stressing the importance of safety. "Let's go over it one more time: When someone falls, what do you do?" asks Bennington, who died in 2018. "Pick them up," the crowd responds.
- Illegal drugs: Authorities are investigating whether illegal drugs factored into some of the deaths, per the Wall Street Journal. One source describes possible overdoses tied to counterfeit pills that might've contained fentanyl, and claims some concertgoers received overdose antidote naloxone. Some attendees reported being injected with a syringe.
- Satanic theories: Wilder rumors about a satanic "sacrifice" are spreading on TikTok, where users have seized on "symbols" seen in concert footage, including flames and burning doves, the Guardian reports. "This is an indication of just how fertile of a ground TikTok is for creating and sharing misinformation and conspiracy theories," social media expert Ioana Literat of Columbia University's Teachers College tells the outlet.
- Organizer's statement: Live Nation said Monday that it will "continue to support and assist local authorities in their ongoing investigation so that both the fans who attended and their families can get the answers they want and deserve, and we will address all legal matters at the appropriate time." Promoter Scoremore Shows, which is owned by Live Nation, said staff had met with investigators and handed over all CCTV footage, per the Journal.
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