A 33-year-old man was killed and three other people were injured when gunfire broke out during a rap concert at Irving Plaza in Manhattan on Wednesday night, sending panicked concertgoers streaming for the exits, the police and witnesses said.
The victims were three men and one woman, a spokesman for the New York Police Department said. One of the men arrived at New York University Medical Center on his own, the police said. The motive for the shootings was unclear, and no arrests had been made as of late Wednesday night, the police said.
Ayo Fagbemi, 21, a University of Pennsylvania student, said T.I.’s D.J. was playing songs to warm up the crowd for the rapper.
“Right when he was about to go on I heard two gunshots, and right after there was a stampede,” Mr. Fagbemi said. “There were at least three rounds, but after the second one was when people started running.”
On Twitter, users posted a video taken inside the club.
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
“People were freaking out,” Diana Zuluaga, 40, who was in the balcony at the time, said in an interview. Ms. Zuluaga, a Manhattan resident, said the loud music covered the sound of the first gunshot, but a second was more audible, sending people running.
Paul Cantor, 34, of Manhattan, was in the back of the club, which he said was filled with about 1,000 people. He said his attention was drawn to a fight backstage that spilled onto the stage.
Mr. Cantor described seeing a man falling backward like a boxer who had been hit by a hard punch. “There was a body that came across the stage, sort of with flailing arms,” he said.
He said a second fight — perhaps related to the first — then broke out on the club’s floor. It was maybe five seconds from the time he saw the fights to when people said they heard shots, he said.
Sagine Morency, 20, said she “got stomped on” and lost a sandal in the hasty exit.
T.I., 35, whose given name is Clifford Harris, is a multiplatinum rapper and actor from Atlanta. Since 2001, he has released nine studio albums and successfully crossed over into the pop realm, scoring two No. 1 singles on the Billboard chart: “Whatever You Like” and “Live Your Life,” featuring Rihanna.
In 2009, T.I. pleaded guilty to three federal weapons charges stemming from a 2007 sting operation in which he was caught obtaining three machine guns and two silencers that had been bought for him. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to one year and one day in prison.
Along with performing more than 1,000 hours of community service as part of his sentence, he participated in the MTV reality series “T.I.’s Road to Redemption,” in which he stressed the danger of guns. In 2010, he returned to prison after violating his probation.
Source: NY Times