Rochester woman killed in concert stampede laid to rest
Update, March 21: Brandy Miller, the Rochester woman who died after being trampled at the Main Street Armory, was laid to rest. Her funeral was on Tuesday at the Salvation Army at 100 West Ave.
Brandy was one of three women who died of their injuries at the concert on March 5. Artist GloRilla had finished performing when people thought they heard gunshots. Although police didn’t find any evidence of gunshots, the sound triggered panic and people rushed for the main door, causing injuries.
Brandy’s memorial service was on Monday, also at the Salvation Army. Here is footage of the service:
Update, March 8: ROCHESTER, N.Y. News10NBC spoke with Brandy’s family. Her boyfriend said she had been looking forward to seeing the GloRilla concert for weeks.
“She was preparing to go to this show for a while,” her boyfriend, Eric Smith, said. “She ordered a bunch of clothes, a bunch of outfits, a bunch of shoes.”
On Sunday night, she hit the Main Street Armory with her friends. She was near the front of the stage at the end of the show when the crowd surged.
She was trampled and died Monday from her injuries. Rhodesia Belton, 33, of Buffalo died Monday morning. A third woman from Syracuse remains in critical condition.
The investigation into what triggered the panic and crowd surge, the capacity at the show, and whether all the exits were clear, is still underway.
On Tuesday, News10NBC’s Jennifer Lewke sat down with Brandy Miller’s family to learn more about her and the lives she leaves behind.
“She would give you anything she had, ya know?” James Green, Brandy’s father, said.
Brandy was a daughter, a sister, an aunt, and a nursing assistant who treated her elderly patients like family.
“She was a very giving person to her whole family, everybody that she loved and cared about. Anybody that knew her, loved her,” said Smith.
It was hours before her family knew that Brandy had been critically injured because during the stampede, she was separated from her friends and lost her cell phone and identification.
“She was murdered, she was stepped on, trampled, and for a person that works so hard to go out to have some fun after she worked hard, there shouldn’t be anything wrong if you want to go out and have fun,” Green said.
“She was basically a Jane Doe, left on the ground, left in the hospital alone,” her sister, Michelle Miller, said.
Doctors told Brandy’s family that she was likely on the ground for 25-35 minutes before paramedics could get inside the Armory to try to help her.
“How are you going to try to let 5,000 people out one door? She didn’t stand a chance once she fell down and it’s sad. We would think people would try to pick her up and help her, but they didn’t,” said Green.
At this point, Brandy’s family has more questions than answers.
“The place is not capable of handling the people that they got there,” Green said.
But, so far, the family says they have yet to hear directly from anyone who can answer their many questions.
“Nobody. No mayor, no police chief, no Armory, no promoters, nobody. So, I don’t know what the condolences are about, or to who, but it’s not us,” Michelle Miller said.
News10NBC tried again to reach the owner of the Armory on Tuesday, but those calls have not been returned. The city and police department say their investigations are ongoing.
Brandy’s family says they met the family of the third victim who remains in critical condition while in the waiting room at Strong Memorial Hospital, and both families joined together for a prayer.
Doctors and nurses line the hallway at Strong Hospital to honor Brandy as her body was brought to donate her organs. Her sister says her heart, kidneys, and liver were used to save four other lives.
The family of Brandy Miller has started a GoFundMe with a $10,000 goal to pay the expenses for Brandy’s funeral expenses.
The page reads: “Our hearts are forever broken by this tragedy and like many of you, we are devastated that someone who was so loving met such a tragic ending. Unfortunately, we had not planned on having a funeral and are financially unprepared to do so. Considering this, we are asking you to help us celebrate Brandy’s beautiful life. We appreciate your support with any donation you are able to provide.”