BELVIDERE, Ill. (WTVO) — The family of Fred Livingston, Jr., 50, identified him as the victim of the deadly roof collapse at the Apollo Theater on Friday night.
Livingston was killed when the roof of the theater caved in as an EF-1 tornado cut through the city around 7:45 p.m.
“It is with great sorrow that we have to share the unexpected passing of Fred Livingston Jr. On March 31st, a tragic event at the Apollo Theater in Belvidere, Illinois led to the loss of a great man. Fred was an amazing man that leaves behind his three sons, Alex, Fred III, and Shane, along with the rest of his family that cared about him deeply,” his family wrote on a GoFundMe.
In total, 28 people were taken to local hospitals by paramedics and another 48 people sought treatment on their own.
Around 260 people were in the venue when the storm hit, but officials said everyone is accounted for.
“I literally just got into the building. I was in there within a minute before it came down,” concert-goer Gabrielle Lewellyn said. “The wind, when I was walking up to the building, it went from like, zero to a thousand within five seconds.”
Video shared to Twitter from inside the venue appeared to be patrons attempting to rescue people from beneath a pile of rubble on the main floor. Some screamed for help lifting large pieces of roofing and debris off of people they believed to be under the rubble.
“There was a bunch of people that went over, and they lifted a piece of the ceiling off of whoever was under there, and … those people should be … commemorated,” Lewellyn said, becoming emotional. “Those people deserve recognition for what they did.”
Machesney Park resident Trista Strommen recalled her terror at the moment the tornado hit: “All you heard was the rumbling building. You felt that shaking and you could just see the lights flickering on and off. And the next thing you know, you can see the whole building, like the roof behind us, is just crumbling down on top of people. And you just hear everyone screaming for help.”
Morbid Angel released a statement Saturday, saying: “We want to first and foremost send out deepest and heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of the individual who tragically lost their life last night in the venue roof collapse due to heavy winds from a tornado. We lost a brother in Metal last night, and many were hurt and injured in this tragedy.”