Speed Reads

Astroworld Tragedy

Houston Police chief walks back story of Astroworld Festival guard knocked out with drug injection

Houston Police Chief Troy Finner on Wednesday gave his second news conference since Friday's deadly Astroworld Festival crowd surge. Finner told reporters the festival organizers were the only ones who could have shut down the concert as hundreds of people were crushed or asphyxiated, leading to at least eight deaths, and they have not yet given investigators clear records about the private security personnel hired to work the event.

An attorney for Travis Scott, the festival founder and the performer during the deadly crowd surge, said an operational plan for the event gave only the festival director and executive producers the power to stop the concert, and none of them are "part of Travis'" crew." Finner said about 530 Houston police officers worked the festival but dismissed calls for an "independent investigation," saying the Houston Police Department can investigate the deaths themselves. 

"Finner was defensive at times and criticized what he described as rumors and speculation surrounding what happened," The Associated Press reports. He also "said there was no evidence that a security guard near the crowd had unknowingly received an injection during the show," speculation he himself had passed along

The guard had originally said "someone pricked his neck, and we felt it could have been something ingested," Finner said. "We did locate that security guard. His story's not consistent with that. He says he was struck in his head, he went unconscious, he woke up in the security tent. He says that no one injected drugs in him." People in the medical profession had found the knocked-out-with-a-needle-prick story implausible at best.