Police have arrested rapper Troy Ave in connection with the shooting that injured three and left one man dead at a T.I. concert at Irving Plaza last night, a spokeswoman said. The NYPD is charging the performer, whose legal name is Roland Collins, with attempted murder and weapons possession.
Collins suffered a gunshot wound to the leg in the shooting. The Daily News reports that he may have shot himself in the leg.
Surveillance video of the incident shows a man who bears a resemblance to Troy Ave squeezing off a round in a crowded area of the venue with a bar. In the clip, one man at the bar tries to shield a woman with his body as the gunman surveys the room.
At least five shots were fired in the assault, stretched out over the course of minutes in the upstairs VIP area of the concert hall. Ronald "Banga" McPhatter, a friend and bodyguard of Troy Ave, died of a gunshot wound to the stomach. Speaking to Hot 97 this morning, a representative for the rapper was oddly nonchalant about the incident, making no mention of McPhatter's death.
Rest In Peace Bro. God bless. pic.twitter.com/Vq6qFnq5bC
— T.I. (@Tip) May 26, 2016
McPhatter's mother told the Daily News the rapper did not call her or her sons to offer his condolences.
"He actually cared a lot about Troy Ave. My wish is that Troy Ave cared as much about my son as he cared about him," Rose McPhatter told the tabloid. "I say that because I watched how my son would always bend over backwards to help him." Here's a photograph of McPhatter from his Instagram:
One of the victim's brothers is Shanduke McPhatter, a former gang member who now runs an East Flatbush violence intervention group called Gangstas Making Astronomical Community Changes. Shanduke told DNAinfo that his brother played semipro basketball, and he had worked with the activist group, but fell out of it as he got more involved with nightlife.
my $HiT wolfin but the #RealChicks prefer u have money over a hair cut :smile: #MoralOfTheStory - Never Be the Guy Who jus Looks Like He Gettin 2 the bags, be the Guy who's Gettin the bags #GrindB4Shine "Jordan Shoulder Shrug" #dopeboyTroy New $HiT in my bio + Mixtape coming soon & yall sno I never disappoint photo by @doncam.z #RealVsFake #GODisGreat :pray:
"Non-profit work isn’t lucrative, it isn’t sexy," Shanduke told the website. "Women, and rappers, and alcohol, it’s more fun and more exciting, so he left community work behind."
East Flatbush Councilman Jumaane Williams said he had worked with the late McPhatter to try to talk to youth and resolve conflicts before violence erupted.
"I want to make it clear that the last thing Ronald would want to take place in response to his death are acts of retaliation or street justice on his behalf," Williams said in a statement. "Even through mourning and anger, his brother Shanduke is showing the strength and courage of his conviction by echoing this sentiment. Ronald's death is proof there is a long way to go in fixing this gun violence epidemic."
The late McPhatter was recently released from jail and had an assault charge pending stemming from an early-monring November 2015 shooting outside a hookah bar and restaurant in the Flatiron District, which left a bystander injured. This Instagram post below shows Troy Ave picking up McPhatter after he was released from jail:
Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said that the Irving Plaza shooting followed a fight in the green room at around 10 p.m.
"The investigation is moving forward very rapidly, and we expect to close it quickly," police Commissioner Bill Bratton told WOR 710.
"It's unfortunate that still in that gangster rap world that's what you're dealing with, the gangster lifestyle," Bratton said.
The commissioner added that many present were not cooperating with investigators, "as is usually the case."
In a separate interview, Bratton blasted all of hip hop, blaming the violence on "the so-called rap artists who are basically thugs that basically celebrate the violence they live all their lives."
Corey Pegues, a retired NYPD deputy inspector and community policing advocate who recently revealed that he sold crack growing up, said that it was unfair to pin the crime on a genre of music.
"You can’t have all these loosey goosey gun laws and think nobody’s going to get shot," Pegues said. "You’re mixing guns with drugs, drinking, music. It’s a recipe for disaster, but not just at a rap show."
Pegues rattled of a list of rappers who have not had shootings at their shows, and complained that though the NYPD has a unit devoted to tracking rappers' movements when they come to town, no such unit exists for heavy metal musicians, many of whom are "doped up all of the time."
"It’s funny how they pick and choose what they think is a threat," he said.