June 29 (Reuters) – A Texas grand jury on Thursday refused to indict rapper Travis Scott and five others with criminal charges over a 2021 crowd at a music festival that left 10 dead and thousands injured, prosecutors said.
Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said the grand jury was the culmination of 19 months of investigating the tragedy at the Scott Astroworld festival in November 2021.
“Our investigators and prosecutors have done everything they can to ensure that the grand jury gets to the truth,” Ogg said.
Scott’s attorney, Kent Schafer, said the findings confirmed that Scott was not responsible for the festival tragedy.
“Now that this chapter is closed, we hope the government’s efforts can focus on what matters most – preventing future heartbreaking tragedies like the world of Astroworld from happening again,” Schafer said in a statement.
Five others, including Live Nation festival director Brent Silberstein, were also acquitted.
“Brent did everything he could to run a safe festival,” said Christopher Downey, Silberstein’s attorney.
Other lawyers could not be immediately reached Thursday.
The probe stemmed from a killing wave of fans at Houston’s Astroworld, where thousands were injured when overcapacity crowds pressed forward as Scott took the stage. Ten people were killed by suffocation, including a ten-year-old child.
The tragedy unleashed a flurry of lawsuits against Scott and festival organizers, including entertainment giant Live Nation (LYV.N), which merged with Ticketmaster in 2010.
Prosecutors allege that Scott, Live Nation, and more than two dozen other defendants let too many people into the venue despite knowing the risks because they wanted the party to appear packed.
At least 4,900 fans were injured, according to attorneys representing the victims in the lawsuits against Scott and the organizers.
The cases in Texas state court have been consolidated in a process known as multi-district litigation, which simplifies the adjudication of similar lawsuits.
The family of one of those killed has settled on undisclosed terms with Scott, Live Nation and others in October 2022.
Other lawsuits are pending, including one brought by the family of the 10-year-old boy who was killed.
(Reporting by Jack Quinn and Mike Spector in New York). Editing by Amy Stevens, Lisa Shumaker and Daniel Wallis
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