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Four people were shot, one fatally, on Wednesday night at a T.I. concert in New York’s Irving Plaza. Police said gunfire broke out at around 10:15 p.m. in a third-floor dressing room at the venue while an opening act was onstage; the violence then spread to the crowd. T.I. was in the building but not onstage at the time.
Billboard‘s reporter on the scene saw a man put into an ambulance with a gunshot wound to the chest, and a woman was carted out on a stretcher with what appeared to be a shot to the leg. According to multiple reports, two men and a woman were taken to Bellevue Hospital and a fourth victim walked into NYU Hospital. The identity of the victim, who a New York Police spokesman said died at the scene, had not been revealed at press time. Another is said to be in critical condition with a stomach wound.
A rep for Troy Ave (real name: Roland Collins) told KarenCivil.com the Brooklyn rapper was grazed in the leg by a bullet, although it was unclear whether he was involved in the incident that led to the shooting. The artist was in good condition early Thursday, according to the New York Post.
Police said it was unclear how the assailant was able to enter the venue with a weapon.
The fact that the shooting took place in a backstage dressing room suggests the assailant accompanied one of the artists — and thus may have entered through the building’s smaller side entrance on East 15th Street, which is used by most artists and crew — but concertgoer Rodney Molina, 37, told Billboard that he and others had not been checked for identification or patted down for weapons as they entered through the venue’s front doors on Irving Place.
Eyewitnesses described a scene of mayhem as the crowd rushed to escape the sound of gunfire. Video purportedly captured inside at the gig shows a panicked crowd scattering.
“Right in front of me, someone was shot right there. People were running and getting stomped on,” Molina told Billboard. “I ran. I ran after that. Everyone started running and pushing people to the floor.” A witness told the Post that the shooting happened shortly after T.I. left the green room. Several accounts said Maino and Uncle Murda were performing onstage at the time of the shooting.
Irving Plaza, which is operated by Live Nation, posted this comment overnight: “The safety of our guests is of the utmost importance. Until we have further details about what transpired, we are referring all inquiries to the NYPD.”
The motive for the shooting was unclear at press time. Police said the investigation is in its early stage.
It’s not the first time gunfire has marred a T.I. event. In 2006, shots rang out at a T.I. aftershow party in Cincinnati, leaving the hip-hop artist’s good friend and personal assistant Philant Johnson dead and three others injured. T.I. would later take the witness stand when the homicide case reached trial.
T.I. was caught up in another incident the following year on federal weapons charges. He was sentenced to a year in prison after his arrest in October 2007 before the BET Hip-Hop Awards in Atlanta for allegedly trying to buy automatic weapons. And in 2013, Doe B, a rapper on T.I.’s Grand Hustle label, was shot and killed.
This story first appeared on Billboard.com
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Tracee Ellis Ross