A lawyer for Travis Scott admitted Friday there was a “systemic breakdown” at the deadly Astroworld Festival, and said the rapper was unaware the concert had been declared a mass casualty incident while he was onstage performing last Friday in Houston.
Attorney Edwin F. McPherson appeared on “GMA” Friday morning, telling the ABC morning show the declaration from police didn’t make it to the artist or his team.
“It absolutely did not. In fact, I think we’ve seen footage of police half an hour later just walking about and not looking like it was a mass casualty event,” McPherson said. “But, clearly the important thing is that never got to Travis, that never got to Travis’s crew. He’s up there trying to perform. He does not have any ability to know what’s going on down below — certainly on a mass level.”
The rapper’s lawyer said Scott did not become aware of the scope of the tragedy, which led to nine deaths and dozens of injuries, until the following day.
“Travis didn’t really understand the full effect of everything until the next morning,” McPherson told “GMA.” “Truly, he did not know what was going on.”
McPherson noted Scott stopped the show several times, like when he directed security to a boy at the front of the crowd, and when he saw flashing lights in the distance, but he “wasn’t sure what that was.”
“There was one other instance right in front of him where he saw something specific, but understand that when he’s up on the stage and he has flash pots going off around him and he has an ear monitor that has music blasting through it and his own voice, he can’t hear anything. He can’t see anything,” the lawyer said.
On Thursday, a ninth victim — Bharti Shahani, a 22-year-old senior at Texas A&M University — died after succumbing to her injuries, while a 9-year-old remains in a medically induced coma.
When asked how much responsibility Scott bears, McPherson pointed to the investigation.
“You know what, that’s what the investigations are about,” he said. “That’s what we’re trying to get to the bottom of is who was responsible. This obviously was a systemic breakdown that we really need to get to the bottom of before we start pointing fingers at anyone.”
"Travis didn’t really understand the full effect of everything until the next morning.” — Travis Scott’s attorney Edwin F. McPherson on deadly Astroworld festival. https://t.co/pP82N0MhqZ pic.twitter.com/abs6NABs3c
— Good Morning America (@GMA) November 12, 2021
As TheWrap reported on Friday morning, more than 100 lawsuits are being filed on behalf of victims of the Astroworld tragedy.
Attorneys Ben Crump and Alex Hilliard announced the filings of additional suits against Scott and concert promoter Live Nation at a news conference in Houston.