The Houston Police department released its full 1266-page investigation on the 2021 Astroworld tragedy, providing more details on the event that killed 10 people and injured hundreds of others.
The massive report — which includes interviews with festival organizers, security staff, camera operators, medical staff, Travis Scott and his manager, and Drake (a guest performer that night) among many others — was released on Friday, a month after a grand jury declined to indict the rapper, and less than a day after Scott released his fifth studio album Utopia.
The documents depict a chaotic scene from just after Scott’s headlining set. While the bulk of the incident began not long after Scott took the stage at 9 p.m., the show didn’t end until over an hour later. During that time, fans yelled for the show to be stopped, while others leapt over barricades to get room to breath. Some medics said they were overwhelmed as attendees came to the medical tent for attention.
The investigation includes disturbing anecdotes from both the concertgoers and workers who witnessed the “carnage,” as camera operator Gregory Hoffman described it. Hoffman was operating a crane with a camera attached to capture video of the concert. Fans began crowding near him and the crane early in the show to get a better view of the concert, he said. Hoffman told the police he called in for backup from security to stop the crowding issues, noting that the heavy crane posed a significant safety risk if it tipped over. Other members of the production team came to his assistance, Hoffman said, but he never got help from security.
After a few songs, they shut the crane down because people attempted to climb it. Hoffman said he saw paramedics giving CPR to one of the concertgoers, Brianna Rodriguez. By 9:25 p.m. Hoffman said, after the production team asked about getting the crane functioning again, he yelled back on the radio to the other production crew members that “the crane is down, and that they were doing CPR under my crane, and that people were dying.”
Several camera operators who spoke to the police said they witnessed attendees receiving CPR early in Scott’s set. Hoffman told the authorities that he and his direct boss — the camera director — didn’t have the authorization power to stop the show.
One security worker had sent texts as early as about 9 p.m. to Shawna Boardman, one of the organizers, about concerns on the crowd constrictions, according to the report. Boardman’s attorneys told the police last year that she “saw things weren’t as bad” as the worker had texted.
Another security worker, Marty Wallgren, told Houston Police that after several attendees were getting CPR, he’d gotten a directive from safety and risk director Seyth Boardman to stop the show at 10 p.m., but that two members of Scott’s team didn’t relay the message to Scott after Wallgren went backstage. Wallgren, the police said, felt that the two men “resisted the directions they were given and actively impeded the ability for anyone to stop the show at a time other than the one they desired.”
Wallgren told the police that while he tried stopping the show at 10 p.m., executive assistant police chief Larry Satterwhite also came backstage and said the show would end at 10:10 p.m. Wallgren told the police he “stood in disbelief waiting for 10:10.”
In a subsequent document, Satterwhite said that he told the three men “we had three people receiving CPR and we had to shut the show down immediately. One of the males responded by saying ‘but they’re not dead’. I yelled they might be and we had to shut down,” he said
“I told them I needed him to shut it down the right way so that the crowd would peacefully disperse,” Satterwhite continued. “I told them five minutes and they said they needed more time. I told them it had to be shut down by 10:10 pm.”