Yakima Co. man killed in Astroworld concert tragedy

GoFundMe page raises $25,000 for family to travel to Texas, pay for funeral
Axel Acosta Astroworld Tieton Yakima County
Source: Tony Buzbee/Facebook

Family members have identified Yakima County resident Axel “Antonio” Acosta as one of eight people killed at the Astroworld music festival in Houston on Friday, just a little over a week after celebrating his 21st birthday.

Acosta was among the approximately 50,000 people present when a crowd surged toward the stage during rapper Travis Scott’s performance; dozens were sent to the hospital and eight people between the ages of 14 and 27 lost their lives in the chaos.

According to a GoFundMe page set up by Acosta’s aunt, Cynthia Acosta, the family became worried Friday evening when they were unable to get in contact with Acosta. She wrote that Acosta’s phone was put in the lost and found at the concert and he did not check back into his hotel room.

After numerous calls to police and locals in the area, the family determined that Acosta was the unidentified eighth victim in the incident. The family called to identify Acosta’s body, but since they are out of state, were reportedly told they could not do anything “until they run fingerprints.”

As of just after noon on Monday, the GoFundMe page had already raised more than $25,000 of its $30,000 goal. The money will go toward paying for the family’s trip to Houston to identify Acosta’s body and bring him back home, along with funeral expenses.

“We are desperately trying to get the first flight available to head to Texas to bring him back home and be with his family,” Cynthia Acosta said on the GoFundMe page. “If anyone is willing to donate it would be greatly appreciated.”

Acosta lived in Tieton, a small town of 1,195 residents located 18 miles northwest of Yakima. He graduated from Highland High School in nearby Cowiche and was studying at Western Washington University.

KAPP-KVEW reached out to Highland School District officials, who declined to make a statement at this time per the family’s request. Western Washington University Vice President of Enrollment and Student Services Melynda Huskey sent the following statement to their students on Monday:

It is with heavy hearts that we relay some sad news to you today. Yesterday we learned that one of our students, Axel Acosta, was among the eight people killed in the Astroworld concert tragedy in Houston on Friday night. We join with Axel’s family in grieving the loss of someone with such a bright future and so much life to live ahead of him, taken far too soon. As a community we are working together to process our sadness and pain at this loss, and we want to make sure that you know that you are supported. Our Counseling & Wellness Center is ready to talk to any students who might wish their support and guidance by calling (360) 650-3164; the state’s Employee Assistance Program is always available to WWU staff and faculty, and can be accessed here. Unexpected losses like this can be hard to understand. In times of tragedy, supporting each other helps get us through the difficult time. If you know someone in pain, help them. If you need help, seek it out. We are here for you.

Houston-based lawyer Tony Buzbee announced Sunday that his law firm would be representing Acosta’s family in an upcoming lawsuit regarding the incident at the Astroworld music festival.

“The Buzbee Law Firm is proud to represent the family of Axel Acosta, who was crushed and killed at the Astroworld concert,” Buzbee said in a social media post. “We also represent more than ten other concert goers who were injured, and are talking to dozens more.”

Buzbee said the law firm has retained a former Houston Police Department major crime investigator and other professionals to investigate and determine who was responsible for the incident and has been collecting statements from multiple witnesses who were at the event.

“[Acosta’s] death was senseless and unnecessary,” Buxbee said. “Someone must, and will, be held accountable and responsible.”