Houston Fire Chief Says Travis Scott 'Absolutely' Should Have Called Off Show

Houston Fire Chief Samuel Pena said on Tuesday that he "absolutely" believes Travis Scott should have stopped the Astroworld musical festival show on Friday that resulted in the death of eight people.

During a recent interview with NBC's Today show, Pena was asked by host Savannah Guthrie if he thinks that Scott should have called off the show "once he saw what was taking place."

In response to the question, Pena said, "absolutely. We all have a responsibility. Everybody at that event has a responsibility, starting from the artist, on down."

Pena continued, "The artist has command of that crowd and in my opinion, and this is my opinion right now because everything is going to be fleshed out throughout this investigation, but certainly, the artist, if he notices something that's going on, he can certainly pause that performance, turn on the lights and say, 'Hey we're not going to continue until this thing is resolved.'"

Pena made similar comments during a recent interview with The New York Times, where he said, "The one person who can really call for and get a tactical pause when something goes wrong is that performer. They have that bully pulpit and they have a responsibility."

During Scott's performance on Friday, a crowd of 50,000 people attempted to move closer to the stage, with fans being trampled and struggling to breathe.

In a statement on Sunday, the Houston Police Department said that "the investigation into the incident at #AstroworldFest remains very active and is in its early stages. The department has no additional information to release at this time."

"Our prayers remain with the families affected by this tragic event," the statement added.

On Monday, Houston Police Chief Troy Finner issued his own statement, where he said that he met with Scott before the concert on Friday and expressed "concerns regarding public safety."

"In my 31 years of law enforcement experience I have never seen a time with more challenges facing citizens of all ages, to include a global pandemic and social tension throughout the nation," Finner said in the statement. "I asked Travis Scott and his team to work with HPD for all events over the weekend and to be mindful of his team's social media messaging on any unscheduled events."

All eight of the victims who died during the concert were identified by the city of Houston on Monday, with ages ranging from 27 to 14.

Shortly after the incident, Scott issued a statement on Twitter saying that he is "absolutely devastated by what took place."

"I am committed to working together with the Houston community to heal and support the families in need," he added.

Since the concert resulted in eight deaths and hundreds of injuries, numerous lawsuits have been filed against Scott and organizers of the Astroworld festival, Live Nation Entertainment and ScoreMore.

Newsweek reached out to the Houston Fire Department for further comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Houston Fire Chief
Houston Fire Chief Samuel Pena said that Travis Scott "absolutely" should have ended the show when he realized what was going on. Above, Pena speaks at the press conference addressing the cancellation of the Astroworld festival at the Wyndham Hotel family reunification center on November 6 in Houston. Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty