x
Breaking News
More () »

Chief Finner now says security guard wasn't pricked with needle at Astroworld

Finner now says the security guard passed out after being hit in the head during Travis Scott's concert.

HOUSTON — Houston Police Chief Troy Finner held a news conference Wednesday to provide updates on the investigation into the tragedy at the Astroworld Festival last week.

The press conference was held at HPD Headquarters.

Finner began the news conference with condolences to the victims' families.

“I just want us all as a city, as a nation to pray for these families. I can’t imagine what they’re going through right now,” he said.

RELATED: Astroworld Festival tragedy: What we know about the eight victims

Finner said the investigation could take months to complete. He said investigators are interviewing a number of witnesses and victims and they're also reviewing video footage.

"Let the investigation lead us to facts and to what and why it occurred,” Finner said.

Possible criminal charges

He said investigators aren’t ruling anything out in the investigation and when asked if he thinks criminal charges would be filed, he said he's not sure right now.

“I’m not sure and not comfortable with saying that," Finner said. "I will tell you we’re not going to leave any stones unturned.”

He said the causes of death will not be available immediately because they're waiting on toxicology reports.

Finner said the event was sanctioned by Harris County, not the city of Houston, but said the goal isn't to cast blame on any one organization.

Astroworld Festival timeline: Cell phone videos show how tragedy unfolded at Travis Scott concert

Finner said rumors and other potential misinformation will only hurt the process. He knows people want answers, but said it will only happen after a thorough and lengthy process.

Finner said the FBI is among several agencies providing support but the Houston Police Department Homicide Division is in charge of the investigation.

HPD tried to shut down the show

Finner clarified some information after the news conference.

He said that HPD officers told event personnel to shut down the performance after receiving word that CPR was being performed in the crowd.

He said ultimate responsibility for pulling the plug on the concert was up to production and the artist.

Criticizing calls for outside investigation

Finner criticized calls for outside investigations and said, for now, HPD homicide is in charge with help from federal partners.

"And I’m not against an independent investigation when it’s warranted," Finner said. "It’s not right now.”

Finner's full update

No reports of anyone being pricked

At Wednesday's news conference, Finner walked back his earlier statement that a security guard said he felt a prick in his neck before he passed out at the Travis Scott Astroworld concert. Finner now says the guard was hit in the head.

“We did locate that security guard. His story’s not consistent with that (being injected). He says he was struck on his head ... he went unconscious ... he woke up in the security tent. He says that no one injected drugs in him,” Finner said Wednesday.

No 'close relationship' with Travis Scott

Finner said he has only met Scott two times and he doesn't have a "close relationship" with the rapper.

What we know:

Here is the latest information as of Wednesday:

Update on 9-year-old Ezra Blount

The family of 9-year-old Ezra Blount says the child remains in critical condition while on a ventilator in a medically induced coma after he was trampled during the crowd surge at the event.

The family is waiting for a second opinion from their attorney Ben Crump’s specialist on the next steps.

MORE: 9-year-old Ezra Blount is fighting for his life after being trampled at Astroworld Festival, family says

KHOU 11's Anayeli Ruiz will have more on this story coming up in the newscast.

Vigil to be held for victim Brianna Rodriguez

A candlelight vigil and balloon release will be held this evening for Brianna Rodriguez, the 16-year-old who was among those that died during at the Astroworld Festival.

Brianna Rodriguez was a junior at Heights High School in Houston ISD. She was one of the youngest of eight victims killed in the crowd surge at the event Friday night.

Credit: Provided

The vigil will be held at 6 p.m. on the Heights High School track. Any student is welcome and encouraged to wear pink and white in her honor.

Organizers will also have hoodies in honor of Brianna on sale for $25 with a portion of the proceeds going to her family.

MORE: Astroworld victim Brianna Rodriguez to be remembered at vigil this evening

Who died at Astroworld Festival?

A medical examiner has identified all eight people who died during Friday's Astroworld Festival:

  • John Hilgert, 14, a ninth-grade student at Memorial High School in Spring Branch ISD
  • Brianna Rodriguez, 16, who was a student at Houston Heights High School
  • Jacob Jurinek, 20, of Naperville, Ill., a student at Southern Illinois University Carbondale
  • Franco Patino, 21, of Naperville, Ill., a senior at the University of Dayton
  • Axel Acosta Avila, 21, of Tieton, Wash.
  • Rudy Peña, 23, of Laredo, Texas, a college student
  • Madison, Dubiski, 23, of Cypress, Texas
  • Danish Baig, 27, of Colleyville, Texas

RELATED: What we know about the eight victims

What happened at Astroworld Festival?

Houston Fire Chief Sam Peña said events started to really escalate at about 9:30 p.m. when a crowd surge took place during Travis Scott's performance. People couldn't breathe, some passed out or fell and were trampled by fans pushing toward the front.

A total of 25 people had to be hospitalized. Eight died and three remained hospitalized on Tuesday, including two who are in ICU.

RELATED: 'Oxygen levels drop' | Doctors explain dangers of crowd surge

Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said he knows there are a lot of narratives being circulated around about what caused the deaths of these eight individuals, but at this time, this incident is still a very active investigation and the cause of death will be determined by a medical examiner.

RELATED: Astroworld Festival security guard said he was 'pricked' in neck, injected before passing out, Houston police chief says

Finner admitted to one of the narratives being investigated is that drugs were being injected into festivalgoers. Finner said he and his department are looking into a report of a security guard becoming unconscious after being pricked by a needle. The security guard was attempting to grab someone when he felt the prick and went down. A medical team had to administer Narcan to the security guard who then regained consciousness. He was examined and there was a prick mark found on his neck, Finner said.

The FBI has joined the ongoing investigation.

“FBI Houston has offered our assistance and resources to the Houston Police Department and we are poised to assist. It is standard practice for the FBI to assist our local law enforcement partners if we have a tool, tactic, or technique that could benefit their investigations," they said in a statement Wednesday. 

Paid Advertisement

Before You Leave, Check This Out