x
Breaking News
More () »

Family members share memories of Astroworld Festival victim Bharti Shahani at Houston funeral

Bharti, a senior at Texas A&M and first-generation American, died from injuries suffered at the Astroworld Festival while attending her first concert. She was 22.

HOUSTON — Family and friends gathered Tuesday to honor the memory of 22-year-old Bharti Shahani. The Texas A&M senior died from injuries she suffered at the Astroworld Festival.

Bharti was expected to graduate soon with a degree in computer science.

Family members, including her sisters and cousins, shared special memories of her at the funeral service in northwest Houston.

"Even the most elegant prose is inadequate to describe Bharti," said Mohit Bellani, the cousin who was with her at the festival. "Bharti was kind, caring and compassionate. Bharti was selfless. I think Bharti’s mom actually said it best: Bharti is love.”

The Aggie and first-generation American had never been to a concert before and went to see Travis Scott with Mohit and her younger sister Namrata. The sisters were holding hands but they got separated when the surging crowd pushed them apart.

“Bharti, I want to say sorry to you. I couldn't take care of you that day, even though you’ve always taken care of me. I should have held your hand tighter, I should have held on to you," Namrati said. "I love you and no way I would ever forget you. I will constantly miss you. Wherever you are now please be OK. And look over us like an angel."

WATCH: Namrati Shahani shares memories

Their younger sister Ria also spoke.

"You are the most amazing person I knew and you never let anyone down," she said. "When you go to a flower shop, you always pick the prettiest flower, and it's the same with life. God always picks the most amazing and good people to take with him and you were one of them.”

Bharti's cousins said she was more like a sister to them and they spent countless hours together and made many memories.

Her older cousin said they teased her about always taking care of them.

"She was so pure. She was such a kind soul. We’d always make fun of her and say, 'Bharti you’re such a mom,'" the older cousin said. "She held a very big part of my heart and right now I just feel some emptiness right now."

"Her smile was so infectious. It lit up the room," a younger cousin said. "I miss my hugs from the world’s best hugger. They were so warm and comforting.”

WATCH: Bharti's cousins speak at her funeral

Bharti's final gift will go to complete strangers because she made the decision to donate her organs, her father said.

He came to pay his respects to the family.

Houston Fire Chief Samuel Pena was also there to pay his respects. He said Bharti's story has really impacted the community and he wanted to be there for the family.

Remembering those who died in the tragedy at Astroworld

Ezra Blount

Credit: Provided

We learned of the passing of 9-year-old Ezra Blount on Nov. 14. The family's attorney, Ben Crump, sent a statement announcing his death. Ezra had been on a ventilator and medically induced coma since he was severely injured at the concert.

Ezra's aunt had told us the child is an outgoing performer who loves to sing and dance. Travis Scott is his favorite rapper so his dad Treston took him to the concert. 

The boy's mother issued a statement thanking everyone for their outpouring of love and support. 

This is the statement from Crump's law firm: “The Blount family tonight is grieving the incomprehensible loss of their precious young son. This should not have been the outcome of taking their son to a concert, what should have been a joyful celebration. Ezra’s death is absolutely heartbreaking. We are committed to seeking answers and justice for the Blount family. But tonight we stand in solidarity with the family, in grief, and in prayer.”

 

John Hilgert

Credit: Hilgert Family / AP

Fourteen-year-old John Hilgert was a ninth-grade student from Memorial High School, according to Spring Branch ISD.

"Our hearts go out to the student’s family and to his friends and our staff at Memorial. This is a terrible loss, and the entire MHS family is grieving today," Spring Branch ISD said in a statement. "Please keep the student's family in your thoughts and prayers as they face this tragedy. We will make counselors available to students next week to offer any help and support needed."

The school put up green ribbons around campus because that was Hilgert's favorite color.

Tuesday afternoon, friends and loved ones can pay their respects to John. It will be from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at St. Martins Episcopal Church on Sage Road. His funeral is Wednesday.

Also Tuesday, Memorial City Mall will light up green tonight to honor John. It was his favorite color.  It’ll start at around dusk and last through Wednesday.

Brianna Rodriguez

Credit: Provided

Brianna Rodriguez, 16, is a Houston resident who attended Heights High School in HISD.

Brianna was a junior at the school and was known for her love of dance and was in her third year with the school’s award-winning dance team, the “Red Coats.”

She was laid to rest in a funeral on Saturday, Nov. 13. Dozens of mourners wore pink and white because they were her favorite colors.

"Our hearts are broken, but our souls have been touched," Rep. Shelia Jackson Lee said outside the church. There's a mother and a father in the family, and there's a story to be told about Brianna, and I want that story to be told."

Jacob Jurinek

Credit: Provided

Jacob Jurinek, 20, died after attending the festival with Franco Patino, another one of the victims who died. The two were reportedly best friends, according to CBS Chicago.

Jurinek was a Naperville, Illinois, native and a student at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

The Southern Illinoisan newspaper reported that Jurinek was studying advertising and journalism at the university and had designed posters and social media banners for athletics at SIU.

“We are brokenhearted to lose a member of the Saluki family, Jacob Jurinek, and we extend our deepest condolences to his family and friends,” SIU Chancellor Austin A. Lane said in a statement. “Jacob was a creative, intelligent young man, with a promising career in journalism and advertising. As we mourn this loss in our community, we will keep Jacob’s family and friends in our thoughts.”

Franco Patino

Credit: Provided

The University of Dayton confirmed mechanical engineering technology student Franco Patino, 21, was among those killed during Astroworld Festival.

Patino was a senior from Naperville, Illinois. He minored in human movement biomechanics.

According to school officials, he was a member of the Alpha Psi Lambda, a Hispanic interest fraternity. Patino was active in the campus Greek Life, as well as the local MEC community. He was a member of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers at UD, participated in the ETHOS program, and was currently working in an engineering coop program in Mason, Ohio.


Axel Acosta Avila

Credit: Family

Axel Acosta Avila, 21, loved rap music and traveled from Washington to attend Astroworld Festival.

Axel's father, Edgar, described him as a great kid, an excellent student and someone who loved his family dearly, especially his grandparents.

"He was trying to study and go to school to be an engineer ... computer programmer ... because he wanted to provide for his family," Edgar said. "He was the first grandkid, he was the oldest one. He always took care of his cousins and nieces.”

Tony Buzbee is representing the Acosta family in a lawsuit against Scott and several of the festival organizers.

 

Rudy Peña

Credit: Provided

Rudy Peña, a 23-year-old college student from Laredo, Texas, was killed in the crowd surge at Astroworld Festival, according to family members. They said he came to Houston for the concert with a group of friends.

"He was a people person," a friend said. "He introduced people to each other."

His older brother, Guadalupe Peña, set up a GoFundMe account to help his family with funeral expenses.  

Madison Dubiski

Credit: Provided

Madison Dubiski, 23, was a Cypress resident killed at Astroworld Festival.

Madison's family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit. Their attorney's released the following statement:

"This tragedy was preventable. Madison’s family filed this lawsuit to make sure that the truth of what went so horrifically wrong at the Astroworld Festival is discovered. This lawsuit will make sure that those responsible are held fully accountable and that something like this never happens to another family," attorneys Kurt Arnold and Jason Itkin said.

 

Danish Baig

Credit: Provided

Danish Baig, 27, was trying to protect his fiancé from being trampled when he was fatally injured during Travis Scott's Astroworld Festival concert, according to his brother, Basil Baig.

"People were trampled, walked, and stomped on. My brother tried to save my sister in law from these horrendous acts that were being done to her in the process he lost his life. My brother Danish Baig a beautiful soul whos [sic] smile would light up the room and put everyone before himself. Last night he showed his courageous act to save my sister in law/his fiance [sic] from those horrendous things that were being done. I am lost of words and in true trauma from this event. I was there and i wasnt [sic] able to save my brother," Basil Baig said in a Facebook post.

Basil Baig said his brother was laid to rest on Nov. 8 in Colleyville, Texas.

A medical examiner reported Danish's real name is "Mirza Baig," but his brother identified him as "Danish Baig."