Families Reject Travis Scott’s Offer to Pay for Funerals – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Several families of the 10 people who died of injuries in a massive wave of spectators at the Astroworld festival have rejected an offer from headliner Travis Scott to pay for their loved ones’ funeral expenses.

Lawyers for the families of four of the victims said Tuesday that they received a letter from Scott’s attorney, Daniel Petrocelli, in which the offer was made.

In a letter sent on November 24 to the lawyers for the family of 9-year-old Ezra Blount, Petrocelli said Scott expressed his “deepest sympathies and condolences” to Ezra’s father, Treston Blount, and Scott had wanted to reach out in person “but wishes not to intrude on Mr Blount’s private life in his time of grief. “

Ezra was the youngest person to die from injuries sustained during Scott’s concert at the sold-out festival on Nov. 5, which was attended by 50,000 people. The others who died ranged in age from 14 to 27. About 300 people were treated at the festival site and 13 were hospitalized.

“Travis is devastated by the tragedy that took place at the Astroworld Festival and mourns the families whose loved ones died or were injured. Travis is committed to doing his part to help the families who have suffered and begin the long process of healing. in the Houston community, ”Petrocelli wrote.

In his response, Robert Hilliard, a lawyer representing Treston Blount in a lawsuit against Scott, the concert organizer and others, declined the offer, saying that although he believes Scott feels remorse, Scott must see, “that he bears some of the responsibility for this tragedy. “

“And maybe one day, when time allows for some healing for the victims and acceptance of responsibility from Mr. Scott and others, Treston and Mr. Scott can meet – as there is healing in that, too,” Hilliard said. “For now, Mr. Scott must respect the fact that his pain and his devastation are fading for Trestons, Ezra’s mother, and the other victims.”

Petrocelli did not immediately return a call or email to seek comment Tuesday.

Michael Lyons, a lawyer for the family of 27-year-old Mirza “Danish” Baig, said he saw the offer to pay for funeral expenses in part as a public relations ploy by Scott to “soften people” in court in public. . . Baig’s family turned down the offer, he said.

“Unfortunately, for my clients, a check from Travis Scott … will not alleviate the pain and suffering they are currently experiencing,” Lyons said. “I think it will only make it worse.”

Richard Mithoff, a lawyer for the family of 14-year-old John Hilgert, also rejected Scott’s offer.

Valerie Cortinas Fisher, a lawyer for the family of 23-year-old Rodolfo “Rudy” Peña, said her clients are grieving and have not yet considered Scott’s offer.

Peña’s family, who are from Laredo, Texas, traveled to Houston on Monday to visit a memorial site near where the concert was held.

Maria de los Angeles Peña, Rodolfo Peña’s mother, remembered her son as a happy person who loved life and was a good student.

“I will say to the world, take care of your children, pray for them, take care of where they go, and Travis Scott, God bless him. Just as there is earthly law, there is also divine law,” she said.

Tony Buzbee, who represents the family of 21-year-old Axel Acosta Avila, said in an email Tuesday that he had received an answering machine from a lawyer who was not Petrocelli, who made an offer of funeral expenses.

“The offer made did not warrant a response,” Buzbee said.

Lawyers for the families of others who died at the festival did not immediately return emails or calls to seek comment.

Scott and the event organizers are in focus for a criminal investigation by Houston police. No timetable has been set for when the investigation will be completed.


Follow Juan A. Lozano on Twitter: https://twitter.com/juanlozano70


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