Sister of Astroworld Victim Rudy Peña: 'He Was Everyone's Favorite. We're in Shock'
Rodolfo “Rudy” Peña was the youngest of five siblings and the undisputed “favorite” of his tight-knit family when he attended Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival in Houston on Friday – and never returned, his eldest sister tells Rolling Stone.
“My God, how do I even describe him? He was the sweetest person. He was responsible. He was there for everybody,” Jennifer Peña says. “He loved to be close to his friends and family. He helped a lot. He was always smiling. He would come to me for advice. I loved that.”
A former wide receiver on his varsity football team at Joseph W. Nixon High School in Laredo, the 23-year-old student at Laredo College loved music, dancing and cowboy gear and was studying criminology with the goal of one day working for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, his family says.
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“He was everyone’s favorite. We’re in shock,” Jennifer says. “It’s hard for all of us, but for my mom, she’s devastated. We had to look for a psychologist. She’s not in this world right now. She says she’s angry. She doesn’t know how to process the pain. She says nobody knows the pain that she’s feeling. We’re a super united family. We’re very close.” (The family has set up a Gofundme for Peña to help cover funeral expenses.)
Jennifer tells Rolling Stone it was one week ago that she saw her baby brother for the last time at her family’s regular Sunday dinner. During the week, Rudy filled his days studying and working as an assistant to a physical therapist.
“Whenever we would feel down, he’d say, ‘Come here, I’ll give you a hug.’ He made us all feel better. He was so positive, always in a happy mood. With his smile, he would shine,” she says. “We have a hole in our hearts. We lost a very special person in our lives.”
She says her family still has many questions about how the crowd control disaster that claimed the lives of eight concertgoers, including her brother, unfolded. “I don’t have any words. I don’t understand how it went down,” she says. “That concert took my little brother.”
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