Families of several Astroworld victims reject Travis Scott's offer to pay for funerals

·3 min read

The families of several of the victims who died after Travis Scott's performance at the Astroworld music festival have rejected the rapper's offer to cover their funeral expenses.

Treston Blount had his 9-year-old son, Ezra, on his shoulders when concertgoers surged toward the stage. Blount passed out, and his son fell. Ezra, who suffered brain, kidney and liver trauma during the crush at the concert Nov. 5, died after he was placed in a medically induced coma.

He was the youngest of 10 people who died after they were injured in the crowd.

Scott offered to pay for all of the victims' funerals, but the Blount family rejected the gesture, their attorney, Bob Hilliard, said in an email to Scott's attorney, which was dated Nov. 24 and was reviewed by NBC News on Tuesday.

While Hilliard said he has no doubt that Scott has remorse over Ezra's death, he said he also thinks Scott "must face and hopefully see that he bears some of the responsibility for this tragedy."

"There may be, and I hope there is, redemption and growth for him on the other side of what this painful process will be — and perhaps one day, once time allows some healing for the victims and acceptance of responsibility by Mr. Scott and others, Treston and Mr. Scott might meet — as there is also healing in that," Hilliard wrote. "For now, Mr. Scott must respect the fact that his pain and his devastation pale to Treston's, Ezra's mom, and the other victims."

Taylor Blount, Ezra’s aunt, said on NBC's "TODAY" show that the crowd was a "death trap."

"The crowd just started going crazy, and Treston goes, 'I can't breathe. I can't breathe,'" she said.

She added that in the chaos after the concert, her family could not find Ezra and had to call local hospitals.

An attorney for the family and fiancée of Danish Baig, 27, said the family declined the offer to have funeral expenses covered.

Baig died while trying to save his fiancée who was being stomped on and kicked in the crowd, his family has said.

In a written statement Wednesday, Richard Mithoff, an attorney for the family of 14-year-old victim John Hilgert, called the offer “demeaning and inappropriate given the magnitude of the tragedy.”

“The Hilgerts are not about to allow someone else to pay for their son’s funeral. It was one of the last things they could do for their son,” he said. “But of all the things this case is about, this is the least of the family’s concern. The Hilgerts are set on making change and making sure this never happens again.”

In a video posted to his Instagram story after the concert, Scott said he could "never imagine the severity of the situation."

"I'm honestly just devastated," Scott said. "I could never imagine anything like this just happening."

Scott faces lawsuits from hundreds of concertgoers seeking damages. Hilliard and fellow attorney Benjamin Crump filed 93 lawsuits representing nearly 200 plaintiffs in November, accusing Scott and the concert's organizers, Live Nation, of negligence.

A spokesman said Live Nation is cooperating with investigators.

"We continue to support and assist local authorities in their ongoing investigation so that both the fans who attended and their families can get the answers they want and deserve, and we will address all legal matters at the appropriate time," the spokesman said in a statement Friday.

A representative for Scott declined to comment on the lawsuits.

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