Astroworld victim Axel Acosta's body was 'trampled like a piece of trash,' attorney Tony Buzbee says

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The family of a 21-year-old who was killed in the Astroworld Festival tragedy is being represented by prominent Houston attorney Tony Buzbee in a lawsuit against organizers involved in the event.

Buzbee announced Monday that his law firm will be filing a lawsuit on behalf of 35 plaintiffs, and that number is growing.

Over the weekend, authorities were looking for help identifying Axel Acosta.

Axel's father, Edgar, confirmed to ABC13 that his son was the unidentified victim who had been recovered from Memorial Hermann Hospital after the incident.


Cynthia Acosta, Axel's aunt, said her nephew traveled by himself from Washington to see rapper Travis Scott take the stage at NRG Park. He was at the event alone.

"It was his first time going to an event like that," said Cynthia.

Buzbee said that neither Scott nor his handlers, managers, agents, promoters or sponsors cared enough about Axel and the others to make the space safe.

Authorities have not yet released his cause of death, but on Monday, Buzbee said Axel died of crowd rush. Crowd rush occurs when you have a high density crowd moving in one direction in a confined space.

"The air was slowly squeezed out of Axel, sending his heart into cardiac arrest," said Buzbee. "People trampled over his body like a piece of trash."

The family's attorney also said that first responders did try to restart Axel's heart but failed.

"Axel died on the muddy ground of a concert that he attended for fun. He loved rap music and the lineup, but that love wasn't mutual," said Buzbee.

Buzbee said the event was planned poorly and described it as "utter chaos."

His law firm is filing a lawsuit against ScoreMore LLC, the Texas-based company that was in charge of promoting the event. A lawsuit will also be filed against LiveNation, including companies like Contemporary Services Corporation and Harris County Sports & Convention Corporation which were supposed to provide adequate security.

"We intend to change the way concerts are put on, managed and promoted in the United States," said Buzbee.

Axel had just turned 21 in October. He was studying computer science at Western Washington University.

"By all accounts, Axel was a young man with a vibrant future. We are sending our condolences to his family on this very sad day," said Western Washington University vice president of enrollment and student services Melynda Huskey.

Edgar told ABC13 that police made it difficult for him to file a missing persons report on his son because Axel was living in Washington.

On Monday, Edgar said that when he didn't hear from Axel after the show, he called the hotel his son was staying at to make sure he made it back safe. That's when hotel staff said Axel had not spent the night there on Friday.

Edgar started making phone calls to hospitals and the sheriff's office, in search of information on his son. He said hospitals told him his son was on none of their lists.

He even called the reunification center and said he was told that Axel's name was not on the list of dead or injured people.

"They told me I had nothing to worry about," said Edgar.



Representatives with the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences had released an image of Axel on Saturday, just 24 hours after the incident.

The Acosta family said they learned of Axel's death through the internet after this image was circulating on social media.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo released the names of all eight victims, including Axel, on Monday.

"In the days to come we'll hear more about their stories, their dreams and what they hoped to accomplish in life. To the parents, family members, and friends with a gaping hole in their hearts today, on behalf of the people of Harris County, we are with you," Hidalgo wrote.



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