The family of the youngest victim of the Astroworld tragedy has declined rapper Travis Scott's offer to cover the nine-year-old's funeral costs in a heartbreaking letter.
Ezra Blount was laid to rest on November 23, a day before the offer was sent to his family via Scott's lawyer, Daniel Petrocelli. The young boy was on his dad's shoulders when the festival turned deadly as a surge in the crowd saw people crushed, trampled, suffocating and fighting for their lives.
Scott was widely accused of being neglectful, inciting dangerous behaviour in the crowd and continuing the show despite it being obvious his fans were in distress.
Blount was one of 10 people who died at the concert, while hundreds were left injured.
"Your client's offer is declined," a response from Blount family lawyer Bob Hilliard read, according to Rolling Stone.
"I have no doubt Mr Scott feels remorse. His journey ahead will be painful. He must face and hopefully see that he bears some of the responsibility for this tragedy."
The offer proposed by the hip-hop star's lawyer stated that Scott was "devastated" by the tragedy and "grieves for the families whose loved ones died or were injured".
Petrocelli added that the 'Sicko Mode' hitmaker was committed to helping those affected and "beginning the long process of healing in the Houston community".
Elsewhere in his blistering response, Hilliard wrote that he hoped there might be "redemption and growth" for Scott on the other side of this "painful process".
"And perhaps one day, once time allows some healing for the victims and acceptance of responsibility by Mr Scott and others, Treston (Blount, Ezra's father) and Mr Scott might meet, as there is also healing in that," Hilliard wrote.
The statement described Ezra's death as "a faucet of unimaginable pain that has no off handle".
"To lose a child in the manner Treston lost Ezra compounds the pain," Hilliard wrote.
"As a parent, Treston cannot help but agonize over the terrible idea that Ezra's last minutes were filled with terror, suffering, suffocation and worst of all surrounded by strangers, his dad unconscious underneath the uncontrolled crowd."
Speaking to Rolling Stone earlier in the week, Hilliard said the family had also rejected an earlier offer to set up an in-person meeting with Scott.
"We were pretty firm. With all due respect, no. This isn't a photo-op story here. This is a 'who's responsible and why' type of investigation. And he's on the short list," he said of Scott.
In the aftermath of the Astroworld crowd surge, Ezra was discovered by his family at a nearby hospital under the name of John Doe. He was placed in a medically induced coma for days and succumbed to irreversible organ failure on November 14. His father lost consciousness but survived.
The Blount family is currently seeking at least US$1 million in damages in a lawsuit filed against Scott and Live Nation, who organised the event.