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'I’m holding her the whole time' | Friend of Brianna Rodriguez describes chaos at Astroworld Festival

Brianna Rodriguez was 16. She loved to dance. On Wednesday, her classmates and members of the community came together to honor her memory.

HOUSTON — Attached to the gates of Heights High School on Wednesday night were three metallic pink letters: BRI.


“Everything she did was nice ... good ... amazing,” Brianna Rodriguez’s friend Xavier Neal said.

RELATED: Astroworld victim Brianna Rodriguez remembered as 'beautiful vibrant' 16-year-old with passion for dance

Xavier and 16-year-old Brianna were close.

They were at Astroworld Festival together on Friday night.

“There was like a group of people falling over, and we started falling over with them, so we couldn’t control where it was going,” Xavier said. “Me and Brianna, like, I’m holding her the whole time, but we fell back, and we’re laying on our backs on the bottom of the pile."

Xavier said 10 minutes passed and they still couldn’t move.

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“She’s telling me about how she can’t breathe and I’m letting her know I’m here, saying, 'breathe, just breathe,'” he said.

Then she stopped talking.

The last words she heard were his. The last touch she felt was his hand.

“I’m holding her leg the whole time, but I can’t feel my arms no more, just talking to her,” Xavier said.

Moments later, everyone rose to their feet.

“As soon as I got out of the pile I looked for her and I picked her up, but she wasn’t responding,” Xavier said. “Then this one random dude picked her up and put her over his shoulder and carried her all the way to the medic.”

“Life is so very, very fragile,” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said at Brianna Rodriguez’s vigil Wednesday night. “There are some things that we’ll never understand.”

A sea of pink covered the Heights High School athletic field in honor of the tiny dancer with the great big smile.

Although it’s not what any of them wanted, tonight they had to say goodbye.

Watch more stories on Astroworld Festival on the KHOU 11 YouTube channel: