Houston Police Chief Troy Finner visited rapper Travis Scott in his trailer to discuss concerns about crowd control hours before a fan surge killed at least eight people at Scott’s concert on Friday, The New York Times reported.
Finner expressed worry over the “energy in the crowd,” according to an article published Sunday, citing a “person with knowledge of the chief’s account.”
The move by the city’s top cop followed months of preparation for the event with increased security, according to the Times. Two years earlier, a crowd surge at Astroworld hospitalized some spectators. Scott had been arrested at least twice in the past, accused of inciting concertgoers to surge past security barriers.
Friday’s show at NRG Park in Scott’s hometown reportedly wasn’t halted until at least 30 minutes after officials declared a “mass casualty” event. The rapper appeared to pause briefly for an ambulance in the crowd at one juncture, but then continued playing. (He reportedly stopped “multiple times” when he saw fans in distress and asked security to help out.)
Houston’s fire chief, Samuel Pena, suggested that Scott could have helped avert the disaster.
“The one person who can really call for and get a tactical pause when something goes wrong is that performer,” Pena told the Times. “They have that bully pulpit and they have a responsibility.”
The first lawsuits in connection with the concert have already been filed as investigations continue.
Scott said he was “devastated.”