Content Warning: This article contains language that may be triggering or traumatizing to some readers. CW: Death
Loving, adventurous and fun. These were some of the words used by Joel Acosta to describe his brother, Axel Acosta.
Axel was one of the nine people to lose their lives during Travis Scott’s performance at the Astroworld Music Festival last Friday.
He was also a student at Western Washington University.
“He was a Western Student just starting his new classes so he could graduate with his degree in computer science,” Joel, who is also a student at Western, said via text. “He had wanted to graduate and wanted to work for Microsoft.”
21-year-old Axel had recently transferred to Western from Yakima Valley College. Joel said his brother was very excited to join him in going to Western and was looking to join clubs on campus, but he hadn’t done so yet.
His hobbies included building PCs, traveling and playing video games with friends from Discord. He was an active member of the popular WWU Discord channel. One of his favorite games was Call of Duty.
He will be remembered by his family and friends as a loving family man who was just beginning to start his life as an adult.
The Acosta family is being represented by attorney Tony Buzzbee, who announced on Monday that he will be filing a lawsuit on behalf of the Acosta family and 35 other plaintiffs from the Astroworld festival. Buzzbee said he hopes the lawsuit can help improve safety at future concerts and prevent similar incidents from ever occurring again. Buzzbee urged those who have information about the concert to contact his office.
During the Monday press conference, Axel’s father, Edgar Acosta, described Axel as a studious person who was working hard to become a computer engineer and provide for his family. He was the oldest of several grandchildren and worked hard to care for the younger children.
“He always takes care of kids, all the cousins and nieces,” Edgar said.
Joel said he wants people to remember his brother as someone who was loved and touched the hearts of many people.
“He forgave those who hurt him, looked out for others who he didn’t know and would make an effort to show and express his love,” Joel said.
Following news of Axel’s death, Melynda Huskey, Western’s vice president of enrollment and student services, released a statement mourning Axel’s loss.
“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,” Huskey said.
Huskey’s message encouraged students looking for support processing the sadness and pain to contact the Counseling and Wellness Center by calling (360) 650-3164.
“By all accounts, Axel was a young man with a vibrant future. We are sending our condolences to his family on this very sad day,” Huskey said.
The Acosta family has set up a GoFundMe page to help raise funds for funeral expenses and travel to Houston. You can donate to the Acosta family’s GoFundMe page here.
Cameron Martinez is a campus life reporter for The Front. She is majoring in visual journalism with a minor in queer studies. When not reporting, Cameron enjoys designing pages and watching podcasts. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org and @doctorcameron on Instagram.