New York’s commissioner is not pleased with the crowd that rapper T.I. hangs with. In fact, that all rappers hang with. After the shootings on Wednesday night, Bill Bratton slammed them as ‘thugs’. Do you agree with the commissioner?
Rapper T.I. has released a statement lamenting the shooting that left one dead and three wounded at his gig in New York City on Wednesday night.
A 33-year-old man died after being shot in the stomach at Irving Plaza concert hall at 10.15pm.
Another man survived after being shot in the chest, and another who was shot in the leg.
A woman, a 26-year-old model from the Bronx, also survived being shot in the leg, and later posted on Facebook: ‘I’m SO VERY grateful for life’.
T.I., whose real name is Clifford Joseph Harris, Jr., made his first public comments about the incident on Instagram on Thursday.
The Atlanta-born 35-year-old said: ‘My heart is heavy today. Our music is intended to save lives, like it has mine and many others.
‘My heartfelt condolences to the family that suffered the loss & my prayers are with all those injured. Respectfully, Tip.’
An aspiring rapper has been arrested for his role in the shooting, charged with attempted murder and criminal possession of two weapons.
The arrest came a few hours before New York City’s police commissioner Bill Bratton called rap artists ‘basically thugs’.
The city’s top cop slammed rappers’ actions in a WCBS radio interview as footage emerged of the chaos that unfolded as the shots were fired inside Irving Plaza.
‘The crazy world of these so-called rap artists who are basically thugs that basically celebrate violence they did all their lives.’ Bratton said.
‘Unfortunately, that violence often times manifests itself during their performances.’
He added: ‘The background of a lot of these young people, they are significant artists in that world … but unfortunately the lifestyles that they lived … often time follows them into the entertainment world and the success they have in it.’
Brooklyn-based rapper Troy Ave, whose real name is Roland Collins, was arrested for his role in the shooting on Friday. He accidentally shot himself in the leg during the melee.
Surveillance video of the incident shows a gunman entering the backstage VIP area with two other men before firing one shot and then fleeing.
On cell phone video, gunshots can be heard in the small area backstage.
Revelers are seen running and ducking for cover while a woman is heard screaming ‘my leg, my leg’ in the video.
Troy, who was set to perform at the show, had a beef with Maino, the New York Daily News reported.
He had just left the stage when at least five shots rang out, sources said.
The source told the newspaper: ‘There is clear video, very graphic video. He walks right out, women all around, and starts shooting his gun,’ a source said.
‘It’s an ongoing rap group rivalry, him and Maino.’
Authorities said Thursday that 33-year-old Ronald McPhatter was fatally shot in the stomach during Wednesday night’s shooting.
His brother, Shanduke McPhatter, runs an anti-violence nonprofit called Gangstas Making Astronomical Community Changes. He hasn’t returned a message.
In addition, police say 26-year-old Maggie Heckstall was shot in the leg and 34-year-old Christopher Vinson was shot in the chest.
Collins, Heckstall and Vinson are in stable condition.
Investigators say it doesn’t appear T.I. was involved in the dispute.
Live Hoffman, 19, was in the balcony VIP area to the left of the stage when the shooting happened. She said there had been some kind of argument between two groups of people before the shooting.
A girl she had been talking to was one of the victims. ‘The girl next to me was shot point blank, and men picked her up and carried her out,’ Hoffman said, still shaken by the events that unfolded right in front of her.
‘For two-to-three minutes we still heard firing, still heard shots, we were clutching each other making sure no one was getting hit.’
Hoffman added: ‘I ran out, just trying to look for my friends, just trying to see if everyone was OK. Everyone was hysterical.’
Police said metal detectors were set up at Irving Plaza, a 1,025-person ballroom-style music venue, but witnesses said security getting into the concert was lax.
Elijah Rodriguez was attending the concert with his sister and they were in the VIP area by the stage.