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Family of 9-year-old Astroworld Festival victim rejects Travis Scott’s offer to pay for funeral

This story, originally published in The Dallas Morning News, is reprinted as part of a collaborative partnership between The Dallas Morning News and Texas Metro News. The partnership seeks to boost coverage of Dallas’ communities of color, particularly in southern Dallas.

Ezra Blount, 9, was in a medically induced coma before he died of injuries he suffered at the music festival.
Ezra Blount
Ezra Blount, 9, posing outside the Astroworld music festival in Houston on Nov. 5, 2021. Ezra has become the youngest person to die from injuries sustained during a crowd surge at the Astroworld music festival.(Uncredited / ASSOCIATED PRESS)

By Nataly Keomoungkhoun

The family of the Astroworld Festival’s youngest victim rejected rapper Travis Scott’s offer to pay for his funeral, the family’s lawyer said.

The lawyer, Bob Hilliard, said in a letter obtained by Rolling StoneonMonday that the family of 9-year-old Ezra Blount turned down the money. Ezra’s funeral took place Nov. 23 in Dallas.

“I have no doubt Mr. Scott feels remorse,” Hilliard wrote. “His journey ahead will be painful. He must face and hopefully see that he bears some of the responsibility for this tragedy.”

Ezra was the 10th person to die after pressure from a crowd surge during Scott’s Nov. 5 performance in Houston. The rush of people made it hard to breathe and the crowd turned violent as attendees panicked, according to lawsuits filed by concertgoers.

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Others who died include 27-year-old Danish Baig, a Dallas-area man who died saving his fiancée, and a 22-year-old Texas A&M student. Hundreds were injured.

Scott’s offer was sent to the family’s lawyers Wednesday by the rapper’s lawyer, Daniel Petrocelli, according to Rolling Stone.

“Travis is committed to doing his part to help the families who have suffered and begin the long process of healing in the Houston community,” Petrocelli wrote. “Toward that end, Travis would like to pay for the funeral expenses for Mr. Blount’s son.”

Hilliard said Scott’s lawyers had reached out to the family to set up an in-person meeting, Rolling Stone reported. The family declined the meeting, Hilliard said.

“This isn’t a photo-op story here,” Hilliard told the magazine. “This is a ‘who’s responsible and why’ type of investigation. And he’s on the short list.”

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Ezra, from Tyler, attended the festival with his father, Treston Blount. Ezra died Nov. 14 after he was in a medically induced coma with severe liver, kidney and brain damage from being trampled at the festival.

Ezra split time between Tyler, where Treston Blount lives, and the Dallas area, where his mother lives.

On a GoFundMe page, Treston Blount said Ezra was on his shoulders when pressure from the crowd caused him to pass out. Ezra was gone when he regained consciousness, Treston said.

Treston Blount filed a lawsuit against Scott, entertainment giant Live Nation and other festival organizers in Harris County District Court on his son’s behalf, seeking damages of more than $1 million for negligence. Scott and the festival organizers are also at the center of a criminal investigation.

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