Details are still emerging from the tragic events at Friday’s Astroworld music festival. Founded and headlined by rapper Travis Scott, the night ended in a deadly crowd surge that left eight dead. However, one dubious theory, at least, has been debunked. According to investigators, no one was “stabbed with a syringe” at the event, a rumor reported without evidence and reiterated by police.
“He says he was struck in his head, he went unconscious, he woke up in the security tent,” said Houston Police Chief Troy Finner, who earlier told reporters of the syringe theory. “He says that no one injected drugs in him. So we want to clear that part up.”
Finner shot down the story today but helped perpetuate it on Saturday when he told reporters that a security staff member lost consciousness after feeling a pinprick in his neck. TMZ was the first to report that a man with a needle injected festival-goers with unknown substances. Soon after, Police Chief Finner reiterated the theory to reporters on Saturday.
“I will tell you, one of the narratives was that some individual was injecting other people with drugs,” Finner said. “We do have a report of a security officer, according to the medial staff, that was out and treated last night that he was reaching over to restrain or grab a citizen and he felt a prick in his neck.”
“He was revived and the medical staff did notice a prick that was similar to a prick that you would get if somebody was trying to inject. That is one part of it. The other thing that’s very important: There were some individuals that were trampled.”
According to Finner, medical staff used Narcan, the brand name for naloxone, a commonly administered medicine for opioid overdose, to revive the staffer. The use of Narcan led some to believe that the patient was overdosing. However, medical experts tell Vice that this isn’t necessarily true.
Speaking to Vice News, Claire Zagorski, program coordinator at the Pharmacy Addictions Research and Medicine Program at the University of Texas at Austin, said that, even without experiencing an overdose, a patient could feel more alert afterward. Furthermore, Zagorski notes how hard it would be to stab someone with a syringe.
“Injecting someone in the neck is difficult,” Zagorski said. “We’re getting very much into urban legend here.”