All eight Astroworld victims identified

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All eight Astroworld victims identified

The eight young people killed when fans suddenly surged toward the stage during Travis Scott’s Astroworld performance in Houston Friday night have now all been publicly identified by their family and friends.

Among them is a man who died trying to shield his fiancée, an engineering student who was working on a medical device to help his sick mother, a former varsity cheerleader and an aspiring border patrol agent.

The victims, whose names haven’t officially been released by authorities, ranged in age from 14 to 27 years of age.

Here’s what we know about them:

Danish Baig, 27

Danish Baig died while trying to shield his fiancée Olivia Swingle from the crowd and get her to safety, his family said.

Baig, an AT&T manager and avid Dallas Cowboys fan, was in the crowd with his fiancée and one of his younger brothers after traveling from Euless, just outside Dallas.

Mirza Danish Baig (right) was killed trying to save his fiance during the Astroworld concert.
Mirza Danish Baig (right) was killed trying to save his fiance during the Astroworld concert.
Facebook

The 27-year-old was trying to protect his fiancée after people in the crowd started hitting her, his older brother Ammar Baig told People.

“He managed to get it to where she was able to get out. Somehow, the ambulance managed to get to her,” he said.

At that point, the pair were separated and Baig was trampled by the crowd.  

“He was trying to save her… And no one there was there to help him,” Ammar said. “By the time they got to my brother, they tried resuscitating him. And they said that before they got to the hospital, he couldn’t make it.

Swingle, who was among those hospitalized, said her “heart is destroyed” in the wake of Baig’s death.

“I was genuinely loved, I had someone that loved me more than anything in this world and not everyone gets to experience that kind of love. I am in Hell,” she said in a Facebook post on Sunday.

“My baby, my love gave his life to save mine and I will spend the rest of my life making sure he gets the justice he deserves. I would not be here today if it was not for him, he is a hero.”

Baig, who was the middle child of five siblings, had moved to from Pakistan to Texas when he was a baby. His brother said Baig had been planning to buy their parents a house at the end of the month.  

“He had a huge heart. He would take care of everybody,” Ammar said. “He was basically the center that would bring everyone together. He was the funny one, the goofy one, the outgoing one. Our brothers and sisters have our own personalities, but he was the glue to it all.”

Madison Dubiski, 23

Madison Dubiski, a former varsity cheerleader and devoted Astros fan, was reportedly holding her younger brother Ty’s hand when she was pulled into the crowd Friday night.

The 23-year-old, who was originally from Cypress, had studied at the University of Mississippi and was working at a Houston marketing agency, according to her Facebook profile.

Her friends described her as “super bright, uplifting and just an all-around sweet girl.”

“I cheered with her when we were younger, and she was always so encouraging. She was definitely the life of the party and loved by so many people,” her friend Lauren Vogler told the Houston Chronicle.

“She was definitely one of the ‘too glam to give a damn!’ kind of girls.”

Jacob “Jake” Jurinek, 20

Jake Jurinek, who was a junior at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale studying art and media, was just two weeks shy of his 21st birthday, according to his family.

The Naperville, Illinois native was at Astroworld with his best friend and former high school football teammate, Franco Patino, who was also killed.

Jurinek’s father Ron Jurinek told People that his son never gave him any trouble and they became especially close after Jake’s mother died back in 2011.

Jake Jurinek was just shy of his 21st birthday when he and his football teammate were killed at the Astroworld concert.
Jake Jurinek was just shy of his 21st birthday when he and his football teammate were killed at the Astroworld concert.
Facebook

“We lost his mom when he was 10,” the grieving father said.

“He never gave me any trouble. That’s why it took so long for Houston to identify him because there’s no fingerprints on file. He never did anything where he got into any trouble.” 

Jurinek’s family described him in a statement as inseparable from his dad, adding they’d attend White Sox and Blackhawks games together and spend weekends at their family cottage in southwest Michigan.   

“He was an avid fan of music, an artist, a son, a best friend to many, and a loving and beloved cousin, nephew, and grandson,” the family statement said.

“Always deeply committed to his family, he was affectionately known as ‘Big Jake’ by his adoring younger cousins, a name befitting of his larger-than-life personality.” 

Franco Patino, 21

College student Franco Patino was credited with saving his mother’s life following a car crash two years ago in Mexico – and had committed to finding a way for her to walk again before he was killed Friday.

The 21-year-old’s father, Julio Patino, described how his son — who loved weight lifting, football and rugby — used his strength to break the car door open and free his mom from the wreckage.

“He loved his mom,” Julio told the Associated Press. “He said everything that he was doing, it was trying to help his mom. The entire goal.”

Franco Patino was at Astroworld to meet up with childhood friend Jake Jurinek. He was also building a device to help his mom walk again after a car crash.
Franco Patino was at Astroworld to meet up with childhood friend Jake Jurinek. He was also building a device to help his mom walk again after a car crash.
Facebook

Patino was pursuing a mechanical engineering technology degree at the University of Dayton in Ohio and had been working with a team to build a new medical device.

Julio, who was in London on business at the time, said he last spoke to Franco at 2 p.m. Friday when his son told him there weren’t very many people at the festival.

“Don’t worry, I’m fine,” he recalled his son saying. “I just said, ‘Ok, just be careful.’”

Patino, who was a member of Alpha Psi Lambda, a Hispanic interest fraternity, had gone to the concert to meet his childhood friend Jake Jurinek.

John Hilgert, 14

John Hilgert – a ninth-grader at Memorial High School in greater Houston — was the youngest victim of the tragedy.

The aspiring baseball player had texted friends earlier Friday saying he wanted to get to Astroworld early so he could get a good spot to see Travis Scott, according to the Houston Chronicle.

His school principal, Lisa Weir, sent an email to parents the morning after the concert confirming the news of Hilgert’s death.

14-year-old John Hilgert allegedly arrived early so he could get a good spot to see the rapper.
14-year-old John Hilgert allegedly arrived early so he could get a good spot to see the rapper.
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The mother of one of Hilgert’s friends, who was also at the concert, described him as “a good student and athlete and so polite.”

“He was the sweetest and smartest young man,” Tracy Faulkner said. “Everything about that night was a tragedy.”

Hilgert’s former baseball coach Justin Higgs wrote on social media that the teen “impacted everyone that met him,” adding that he was “an Angel long time ago.”

In an Instagram post, the Warriors Baseball Academy where Hilgert played also called the teen “an angel.”

“He got the call up to the Major Leagues by the Almighty!” the post said. “John made an impact on anyone who met him and they always remember him.

“He loved the game of baseball. John was an angel the whole time I knew him… impacting others for good and he himself was a legend.”

Brianna Rodriguez, 16

Brianna Rodriguez, a 16-year-old student at Houston’s Heights High School, loved to dance, according to her family.

She was described on a GoFundMe page as “beautiful” and “vibrant”.

16-year-old Brianna Rodriguez was a drill dancer with her school’s band.
16-year-old Brianna Rodriguez was a drill dancer with her school’s band.
GoFundMe

“Dancing was her passion and now she’s dancing her way to heaven’s pearly gates,” her family said.

Rodriguez was a drill dancer with her school’s band, who paid tribute to her on Twitter as “someone who could always make anyone smile.”

Axel Acosta, 21

Axel Acosta, a computer science major at Western Washington University, had traveled alone to Astroworld to see Travis Scott for the first time, his family said.

Acosta’s family said they began to worry about him when the person he was rooming with in a hotel called to say he hadn’t returned Friday night and his phone was located at lost and found.

Axel Acosta was alone at Astroworld since it was his first time going to a festival like that.
Axel Acosta was alone at Astroworld since it was his first time going to a festival like that.
Shane Zisk/Instagram

Authorities released a photo of him Saturday morning seeking to identify him.

“It was his first time going to an event like that,” his aunt Cynthia Acosta told KTRK-TV.

Western Washington University issued a statement in the wake of his death, saying: “By all accounts, Axel was a young man with a vibrant future. We are sending our condolences to his family on this very sad day.”

Rudy Peña, 23

Rudy Peña, who lived in Laredo, Texas, was trying to become a Border Patrol agent, according to his friends and family.

The 23-year-old had been studying criminology at Laredo College.

“My brother was the sweetest person, friendly, outgoing, he had many friends because he was always there for everyone,” his sister Jennifer Peña told the Laredo Morning Times.

His friend Stacey Sarmiento, who was at the concert with Peña, said she last saw him when he was towards the back of the crowd.

Rudy Peña attended the festival with friends and was an aspiring border patrol agent from Laredo, Texas.
Rudy Peña attended the festival with friends and was an aspiring border patrol agent from Laredo, Texas.
Facebook

“When we saw him, it was kind of towards the back, they all looked fine but everyone was pushing and shoving,” Sarmiento told KHOU11.

“We’re just … all my friends are shocked by the news. We just came to have a good time … for him to lose his life in there … it was just horrible in there.”

She added: “Rudy was a close friend of mine. We met in high school. He was an athlete… He brought happiness anywhere he went. He was easy to get along with. It was like positive vibes from him at all times.”

With Post wires

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