Rudy Peña was a 23-year-old medical assistant and criminal justice major, and also, one of the eight people who died during the mass casualty event at Travis Scott‘s Astroworld Festival in Houston on Friday.
Peña’s brother-in-law Sergio Gonzalez revealed just a day after the tragedy how their family demands answers and justice after the heartbreaking loss of their family member at Astroworld.
“We learned in the worst way. We found out around 12:30 last night from a friend of Rudy that was with him that he had just passed out,” Gonzalez explains. “It wasn’t until this afternoon that we found out he had died.”
The youngest of five siblings, Peña’s mother, who is originally from Durango, Mexico, was crushed after learning her baby boy died at the Astroworld concert.
“This afternoon, Rudy’s mother found out that he had died. She was so distraught. Her pain was immense. She was screaming, crying. We had to give her a sedative, and she’s barely going to sleep,” says Gonzalez. “She thinks he’s still alive and that she’s waiting for him and that he’ll come home. She keeps saying she has to get home because he’s going to arrive. You can only imagine.”
Peña was a music lover who attended the Astroworld concert with friends.
“We’re so angry. There are always so many concerts and they’re always great, but you never imagine that there’ll be a tragedy. You never go to a concert and think you’re going to die. You pay for your ticket, go to a concert, have fun and go home — you never think you’ll go through something like this,” he says. “I am really angry … If there’s a multitude of people gathering outside, why wasn’t there more control? That’s where my anger comes from.”
“In Mexico, you go to a stadium and there are police with guns and armor in case anything ever happens since there’s so many people. How were they going to control such a large crowd,” Gonzales asked of the concert’s security.
His family remembers Rudy as calm, playful and the sweetest.
“Rudy was studying criminal justice at Laredo College. He was a young man who had a clean record. He was well-behaved and loved sports. Of his 5 siblings, he was the most calm. He worked as a medical assistant at a rehab clinic. He played football in high school. He was always hanging out with his friends. He was the youngest of 5 siblings. He was the calmest, the most playful, he was the sweetest with everyone. He was the most spoiled, since he was the youngest. I’ve been with my wife since before he was born and it hurts so much,” Gonzalez recalls.
“Someone needs to be found guilty. Who’s guilty? They’re going to pay our funeral fees — a pittance (una miseria in Spanish) — my brother-in-law was worth more than that….We haven’t even been able to see his body. There are more questions in the air than answers. How did this happen?” Gonzalez asked of the Astroworld incident. “We literally don’t know how he died. What were the circumstances?”
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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