Best friends from Naperville among at least 8 killed at Travis Scott’s Astroworld music festival

Best friends from Naperville among at least 8 killed at Travis Scott’s Astroworld music festival
CHICAGO (WLS) — Two best friends, who were also Naperville natives, are among the victims killed during Travis Scott’s Astroworld music festival in Houston, Texas Friday.

Jacob “Jake” Jurinek and Franco Patiño attended the concert together and both lost their lives when chaos erupted during Scott’s performance. At least six others were also killed, and hundreds of others injured, according to officials.

Jurinek was a junior at Southern Illinois University Carbondale where he was pursuing his passion for art and media, and worked as a graphic arts and media intern for the athletic department, his family said.

Patiño was a University of Dayton student, majoring in mechanical engineering technology with a minor in human movement biomechanics, according to the university. He was also a member of Alpha Psi Lambda, a Hispanic interest fraternity, as well as a member of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers at UD, active in the ETHOS program and was working in an engineering co-op program in Mason, Ohio, according to the university.

Both graduated from Neuqua High School in Naperville.

Now, loved ones are speaking out and believe the tragedy could’ve been prevented.

“He had a big heart,” said Julio Patiño, Franco’s older brother. “I can just imagine how scared he was.”

Patiño’s father described his son as a charismatic, energetic leader who was active in his community and intent on helping people with disabilities.

He said his son was working with a team on a new medical device, and that he wanted to find a way to help his mother walk again after she was severely injured in an automobile accident in Mexico two years ago, he told the Associated Press.

Patino described how his son – who enjoyed weight lifting, football and rugby – used his strength to break a door and free his mom from the wreckage.

“He loved his mom,” Patino said. “He said everything that he was doing, it was trying to help his mom. The entire goal.”

RELATED: Astroworld 2021: Authorities seek clues in 8 deaths during Travis Scott performance

The family is now left heartbroken after his sudden death.

“We will always celebrate you. You’re in heaven, mijo,” said Patiño’s mother, Teresita.

The 21-year-old and his best friend were among the thousands who attended rapper Travis Scott’s Astroworld festival in Houston Friday.

“He was talking about, to everyone, how excited he was to be there,” Julio recalled. “He was saving up money to go with his best friend Jacob, who also passed away.”

Patiño and Jurinek were former high school football teammates, Patiño’s father told the AP. Jurinek was just over two weeks short of his 21st birthday.

“Jake was beloved by his family and by his seemingly countless number of friends for his contagious enthusiasm, his boundless energy, and his unwavering positive attitude. He was an avid fan of music, an artist, a son, a best friend to many, and a loving and beloved cousin, nephew, and grandson. Always deeply committed to his family, he was affectionately known as ‘Big Jake’ by his adoring younger cousins, a name befitting of his larger-than-life personality,” Jurinek’s family said in a statement.

Jurinek’s family added that he was also a Chicago White Sox and Blackhawks fan, and often attended games with his father.

“We are all devastated and are left with a huge hole in our lives,” said his father, Ron Jurinek. “Right now, we ask for the time and space for our family to process this tragic news and begin to heal. We’re comforted by the fact that the hundreds of people Jake touched over the years will carry a piece of his spirit with them.”

This, as family members watched Patiño’s last moments play out on social media while surrounded by the crowd.

“It was some people who would just record and not do anything, but I found the guy who helped my brother off of social media. And I was just glad that he helped him right away to try and save his life,” said Patiño’s little brother Cesar.

As the investigation continues into the chaotic events during Travis Scott’s performance, loved ones are waiting for someone to be held accountable and for changes to be made.

RELATED: 1st lawsuit filed after 8 people died at Astroworld Festival

“Things should be put in place to prevent this from happening,” Julio said. “People shouldn’t have to risk their lives for Travis Scott.”

SIU Carbondale released a statement on the death of Jurinek.

“We are brokenhearted to lose a member of the Saluki family, Jacob Jurinek, and we extend our deepest condolences to his family and friends. Jacob was a creative, intelligent young man, with a promising career in journalism and advertising. We understand this comes as a shock to many of our students. If they have mental health concerns, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is available to help them by calling 618-453-5371. As we mourn this loss in our community, we will keep Jacob’s family and friends in our thoughts.” – Austin Lane, chancellor, Southern Illinois University Carbondale,” school officials said.

They also said they are working with faculty, students and family to hold a memorial event in his honor. No details have been released at this time.

The cause of death for both Naperville natives is unknown.

Officials are still investigating to determine what led up to the chaos at the Texas music festival during a Travis Scott performance, which left eight dead and hundreds injured.

RELATED: Astroworld victims: What we know about 8 killed during Travis Scott performance

Police have said it’s a criminal matter, involving both homicide and narcotics investigators.

The victims were all under the age of 30, one was only 14, and an estimated 50,000 people were there.

Scott was performing when the crowd suddenly started moving toward the stage, crushing people.

An Apple Music stream showed him stopping his performance several times after spotting fans in distress.

“I’m honestly just devastated. I could never imagine anything like this,” Scott said in an Instagram video. “I just want to send out prayers to the ones that was lost.”

The event organizer canceled the festival’s events for Saturday and offered condolences to the families of those who died.

It’s not clear what caused the stampede.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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Source: ABC7


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