NEW YORK – Rapper Troy Ave, born Roland Collins, was taken into custody on Thursday and is facing attempted murder and weapon charges, according to a police spokesman. The Brooklyn rap artist was seen on surveillance footage as he entered the concert venue in Manhattan where the rapper T.I. was set to perform on Wednesday and fired a gun, starting a fight that killed a fan.
The shooting began around ten p.m. while T.I. was getting ready for his performance on the main floor.
The violent conflict that took place in the Irving Plaza left three people injured and killed Ronald MacPhatter, a 33-year old man who was an associate of Collins. He was pronounced dead at Mount Sinai Beth Israel, police told The Washington Post.
Robert K. Boyce, the chief of detectives, told The Post that a 34-year old man was hurt in the chest as a bullet pierced the floor and hit him. He said the man and a 26-year-old woman who were struck in one leg and both are in stable condition at Bellevue Hospital.
Police said Try Ave received treatment for a wound to the leg produced by a gunshot, The Post reported.
The gunman appears on an 8-secod video clip as he burst through the entrance of a VIP area above the stage of the theater and apparently pursues a victim. He then seems to spot something and fires. The reasons why the fight began remain unclear.
“What we can determine right now from the witnesses and video is that a fisticuff broke out, and then a gunfight directly after that,” said Robert K. Boyce, the chief of detectives, as quoted by The Post. “It went on for about five minutes.”
Boyce added that there were signs of a stampede inside, including a bit of blood and overturned furniture.
— Rolling Stone (@RollingStone) May 26, 2016
Rapper T.I., whose real name is Clifford Joseph Harris Jr., took on Instagram to send his condolences to the victims and expressed his music was meant to save lives, “like it has mine and many others.”
Although police denied any connection between the Atlanta rapper and the violent incident, this was the third time in ten years that gun battles had taken place during or after concerts when T.I. was set to perform.
The first one occurred in 2006 near Cincinnati, Ohio, as a member of the rapper’s entourage was fatally shot, and three other people were injured. The ‘brawl’ his happened shortly after a party following a T.I. concert.
A shooting in a nightclub in Charlotte, North Carolina, marked the second one related to a TI at the performance last March when two people got shot and injured. And in 2010, the Grammy Award-winning artist faced federal gun charges and was sentenced to 11 months in prison.
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
Debate over violent incidents among rap events
Police Commissioner William Bratton made a statement in an interview with WCBS radio on Thursday. Bratton caused controversy when he said such violent incidents occurred because rappers celebrate the violence their lives are about. He also described their music as one that rejoices in the degradation of women and the drug culture, noting that not even fame and fortune give them reasons to get out of such a lifestyle.
City Councilman Jumaane Williams, a Brooklyn Democrat, commented that people do not use the same language when white individuals are involved in such violent acts. For his part, Mayor of New York City Bill de Blasio said he believed it was a mistake to generalize and that there are some artists in the hip-hop culture involved in great projects for the benefit of the world.
Source: Washington Post