Bharti Shahani was a daughter of Houston, an obedient, first-generation Native American – A and B student in computer engineering at Texas A&M University.
So it was unusual when the 22-year-old who loved badminton, Dunkin ’Donuts coffee and her husky Blue, asked her parents to attend Travis Scott’s Astroworld concert.
“We don’t go to concerts. We don’t know what this concert is about, ”her mother, Karishma Shahani, said Thursday as she stood with relatives in their lawyer’s office.
On Wednesday evening, Shahani became the ninth person to die from injuries suffered at the concert. In the chaos that resulted at the Astroworld Festival on Friday, she was separated from her older cousin and younger sister. She remained in critical condition at Houston Methodist Hospital. On Thursday, her family announced her death.
“My baby hasn’t come back,” said her mother.
Karishma Shahani said she agreed for her daughter to attend the concert because she “always gave” and “this is the first thing she asked me for herself.”
Houston police have opened investigations into homicide and narcotics after the hometown rapper’s deadly concert, but have not yet charged anyone. Autopsies for those who died – which ranged in age from 14 to 27 – were still pending Thursday, and more than a dozen lawsuits have been filed against Astroworld organizers. Calls have risen for an independent inquiry due to Scott’s ties to city leaders.
Namrata Shahani, 20, a student at the University of Houston, recalled how excited her older sister was as she prepared for Astroworld, planning and trying on clothes for her. The last time she saw her, she held her hand in the crowd.
“The last thing she said to me was,‘ Are you okay? ’” Shahani said.
Then the crowd increased, and Bharti disappeared.
Cousin Mohit Velani found her hours later in the emergency room of a nearby Houston Methodist.
“I assumed she was just going to dry up,” said Velani, 25.
Doctors told him she had already suffered two heart attacks and was on a ventilator.
“I walked into the room and saw her with tubes down her throat,” he said.
Shahani’s parents have remained in intensive care with her for the past six days, “so whatever time remains, we can spend with her,” father Sunny Shahani said. They did not sleep. Their daughter remained unresponsive. At home her dog Blue roamed the house, they said, looking for her.
At 6:50 pm on Wednesday, doctors declared Bharti Shahani dead. Within 48 hours, she will be removed from the ventilator, her parents said, her organs donated, as was her wish.
Shahani’s family said they were not in contact with Travis Scott, whose lawyers released a statement Thursday urging the families of victims to contact them. The Shahanis said they were also not in contact with the families of other victims, including relatives of 9-year-old Ezra Blount of North Texas, who was placed in a medically induced coma and on a ventilator after being trampled at the concert, relatives. said.
“Ezra, I’ll fight for you no matter how much I love you and no one can tell me any different #keephopealive,” Father Treston Blount posted on Facebook late Thursday.
Ezra remained in critical condition late Thursday, according to a hospital spokesman.
The Shahanis and their lawyer said they want to hold those who organized the concert accountable, and do what they can to prevent future disasters.
“They suffocated us. They did that to Bharti. They did that to the 9-year-old boy now in the ICU fighting for his life, ”Velani said. “There are so many families mourning now.”