Friends and family of Astroworld victim Brianna Rodriguez gathered in Houston on Saturday to bid farewell to the 16-year-old killed in last week’s disastrous concert.
Rodriguez was among nine killed during the show as the crowd rose forward, stepping on victims.
“It’s devastating. No one could have imagined that would happen, ”family friend David Gonzalez, 58, told the Houston Chronicle. “She wasn’t much of a concertgoer. She intended to go to a party that night, but it was canceled. You can only imagine how her parents feel. ”
Many mourners celebrated Rodriguez wearing her favorite color combination: pink and white.
Rodriguez was with a group in the VIP section at Astroworld as the crowd rose toward the stage during the performance of title catcher Travis Scott.
“I hold her all the time, but we fell backwards and landed on our backs at the bottom of the crowd,” Xavier Neal, one of the friends who attended Astroworld with her, told KTRK, the city’s ABC affiliate . “She tells me how she can’t breathe and I let her know I’m here. Like, ‘I’m here, just breathe.’ But I’m down there, I’m trying to breathe. I listen to her until I hear no more. ”
Rodriguez was a junior at Heights High School in Houston, where she was a member of the school’s award-winning dance team and its group.
“Brianna was like a sister to us,” said Maite Rocha, a dance teammate, at a memorial held at the school. “Every time there was music, she turned to look at us. Every time there was an artist she liked, she would turn to look at us and start dancing. ”
At a viewing Friday night, countless people arrived wearing pink t-shirts with the words “Long live Bri” across the back.
She was praised as a “bright light” by many.
“It sounds cliché, but she would really light up a room,” Leonce Hall, a 6th grade English teacher at Hamilton Middle School who taught Rodriguez, told the Chronicle. “It was no surprise that she was so successful in dance and went on to high school, she was so determined. So good a kid.”
Rodriguez was the eldest of three siblings, and is also survived by her parents Osvaldo Rodriguez and Ester Rodriguez.