According to the New York Times, one young man was killed and three more audience members were injured when gunfire broke out prior to a performance Wednesday night by hip-hop superstar T.I. at New York City’s Irving Plaza. The newspaper reports that a 33 year old male was killed while two more men and a women suffered injuries from the attack. Located in Manhattan, music fans at the venue were sent streaming for the exits, according to police and bystanders.
There is no known motive for the shootings and nobody has been arrested as of early Thursday morning. The rapper from Atlanta was just about to go on stage when the shooting occurred. According to one concert attendee interviewed after the incident, a DJ was on stage playing music to prepare the crowd for the headlining set.
“Right in front of me, someone was shot right there. People were running and getting stomped on,” said Rodney Molina, a concert-goer from Harlem.
In this day of social media, it is no surprise to learn that videos were taken of the shooting’s aftermath (Warning – disturbing content):
Gunshots just went off at the T.I concert, never been so scared in my life pic.twitter.com/rn0CjpAuaU
— Marco (@markygeezy) May 26, 2016
While it is difficult to discern exactly what happened, testimony from an audience member, Paul Cantor, points towards a fight that moved from backstage to the crowd, as someone flew across stage “sort of with flailing arms.” He then described a second fight in the audience, which is potentially related to the first first. According to the New York Times, it was around five seconds between the fights and the shooting within the crowd.
UPDATE (5/27): The man who was killed has been identified as Ronald McPhatter, who is rapper Troy Ave’s bodyguard. McPhatter was shot in the stomach and died after being transported to Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital. The other two victims were a 26 year old woman who is currently in stable condition and an unidentified man walked into the New York University Medical Center but his condition is unknown.
Rapper Troy Ave has been arrested and charged with attempted murder and criminal possession of a weapon. He was shot in the leg and is expected to recover. It is still unclear how many shooters were involved. The Times confirms that the shooting occurred within a green room located on the venue’s third floor.
ARREST UPDATE: Roland Collins (A.K.A. Troy Ave), 33, charged with Attempted Murder & Criminal Possession of a Weapon https://t.co/pb7IbuwbK5
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) May 26, 2016
UPDATE (6/2): Live Nation has cancelled six shows at Irving Plaza and its sister venue Gramercy Theater in the wake of the shooting. Of those six, four were hip-hop artists and the other two had gun references in their band names. The cancellations include Joey Bada$$, Mac Miller and Vince Staples as part of the Governor’s Ball After Dark series, Black Pistol Fire at the Gramercy (which has been moved to Saint Vitus Bar), YG, and Guns ‘N Roses cover band called Appetite For Destruction.
Meanwhile, Troy Ave pled not guilty to his alleged crimes in the wake of the shooting, and has been remandedwithout bail.