Houston police chief has rejected his statement that a security guard at Astroworld had been stabbed with a needle before the deadly onslaught that cost eight concertgoers their lives.
Police interviewed the guard, who is reported to have been stabbed while helping a fan, but the guard denied that he was injected into the neck of someone in the crowd, top officer Troy Finner said Wednesday.
“We found the security guard. His story does not match that (being injected). He says he was hit in the head… he became unconscious… he woke up in the security tent,” the boss told reporters.
“He says no one injected drugs into him.”
The police chief said on Saturday that they thought the guard was injected with a possible opioid after medical staff said he was given Narcan, a drug used to revive people who have overdoses on opioids, and they saw what looked like a needle mark on his neck.
Meanwhile, Finner said event organizers have not provided investigators with clear records of private security personnel working on the ground during rapper Travis Scott’s appearance.
It was up to promoter Live Nation Entertainment to secure two mosh-pits in front of the stage Friday night, the boss said, adding that staff records handed over by the organizers “just weren’t good.”
Finner said police asked organizers to shut down the show when fans received CPR, but he repeatedly refused to provide timelines, making it unclear at what point the order came and how much longer the show lasted after the directive was issued.
“When you say authority and ability to end the show, we do not stick. But it is always in the plan, it is always a discussion about how it would happen, ”said Finner. “We had these discussions with the initiators.”
Earlier in the day, Scott’s attorneys pointed to an operational plan for the event, which only says the festival director and executive producers have the authority to stop the show, “neither of which is part of Travis’ crew.”
“Investigations should begin to continue over finger-pointing so that together we can identify exactly what happened and how we can prevent something similar from happening again,” attorney Edwin McPherson said in a statement.
Finner also defended his department’s ability to handle the criminal investigation of himself, saying he did not have a close relationship with Scott, who is from Houston and founded the festival.
He said he expressed safety concerns with Scott before the show, but did not go into detail, adding that he has only ever spoken to the rapper twice.
“I had no reason to believe it would not be safe,” Finner said. “But I’m the kind of boss I meet with people when I can, and that includes him. We had a very respectful conversation in minutes about my concerns.”
The boss said about 530 of his officers worked at the festival, more than twice as many as when the festival was last held in 2019.
He noted that the investigation was still in its early stages and said he would not “blame” any organization.
At least 50 lawsuits have been filed against Live Nation Entertainment and Scott over deaths and injuries in connection with the fateful concert, according to Reuters.
With Post wires