Texas State student’s hometown friend dies at Astroworld festival


HOUSTON (KXAN) — Hours after the Astroworld festival concert, a Texas State student, who went to the festival, found out her hometown friend was one of the eight victims who died.

Jonali Reyes said she was friends with 20-year-old Rudy Peña. They’re both from Laredo. She told KXAN she would see him from time to time when she visited, and can’t believe he’s really gone.

“My heart dropped,” Reyes said.

New video is surfacing of bodies being carried through the mosh pit, showing a crowd that grew too rowdy to control.

“I had to get out of the crowd because it was insane…pushing and stumbling over each other,” Reyes said.

Reyes replays these moments in her head as she comes to terms with Rudy’s death.

“Anytime we saw each other…we kept each other updated,” Reyes said. “And it was really, really sad because he was such a kind-hearted soul.”

Reyes knows she was lucky to make it out alive.

“God’s keeping me protected at all times because I know during a split moment that I was in one of the mosh pits…people could have stomped on me,” she said.

Eight victims left behind their loved-ones, and that continues to weigh heavy on parents. It’s especially affecting Reyes’ mom, who can’t help but imagine the thought of losing her daughter.

“We’re just blessed that we’re able to see our daughter and hear from her,” Mary Reyes said. “That is just very tragic. This didn’t need to happen…if only they had taken care of what they were supposed to.”

As Houston police continue their investigation, there’s no guarantee that what’s uncovered will ease the pain.

“He definitely did not deserve [this], going to a concert that you’re supposed to enjoy,” Reyes said. “And like not coming out alive.”

Rudy was reportedly an aspiring border patrol agent. His family has started a GoFundMe to help with funeral expenses.

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