Suspect Charged In Connection With Irving Plaza Shooting
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A suspect has been charged in connection with a shooting that took place in the Irving Plaza concert venue on Wednesday.
One person was killed and three others were injured in the shooting, and as CBS2's Alice Gainer reported one of the injured has now been charged.
Roland Collins, a Brooklyn-based rapper known by the name Troy Ave, has been charged with criminal possession of a weapon, reckless endangerment, and menacing.
Collins was hit in the leg during the shooting, sources said. Police sources told CBS2 he was one of two shooters involved in the incident. Authorities alleged that Collins is the one who can be seen firing a gun on surveillance video released late Thursday.
Police released the video in hopes that the public could identify others seen in it.
Meanwhile, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton called rap artists "basically thugs" Thursday in the wake of the shooting that left one person dead and three others wounded.
Speaking on WCBS 880, Bratton said the shooting Wednesday inside Irving Plaza was the result of "the crazy world of the so-called rap artists."
"Basically thugs that basically celebrate the violence that they live all their lives and unfortunately that violence often manifests itself during the performances and that's exactly what happened last evening," he said. "The music, unfortunately, oftentimes celebrates gun violence, celebrates the degradation of women, celebrates the drug culture and it's unfortunate that as they get fame and fortune, that some of them are just not able to get out of the life, if you will."
NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said it began as a quarrel between two groups that traveled from a top floor down to an area outside a green room on the second level.
"It looked like from what we can determine right now from witnesses and video, a fisticuffs broke out and then gun play directly thereafter," Boyce said. "It went on for about five minutes -- the fight -- and then someone pulled a gun and people were shot."
Five casings from a 9 mm gun were recovered, police said.
Fans were waiting for hip-hop artist T.I. to perform when the gunfire erupted as opening acts Maino and Uncle Murda were on stage.
"When he was about to go on, we saw two people up on the VIP arguing and then everybody just started running cause they heard the shots," said concertgoer Sagine Morenci.
The shooting could be heard over the music and sent panicked concertgoers running for the exits, WCBS 880's Marla Diamond reported. Cellphone video captured the hundreds of people trying to get out.
"It was a stampede," one man said. "Everyone was trying to save themselves."
"Just chaos," said another concertgoer. "We ran outside, thought it was OK, then we heard more shots so we just kept running."
Ronald McPhatter, 33, a bodyguard for suspect Collins, was fatally shot in the abdomen, police said. Two others in addition to Collins were wounded.
Concertgoer Maggie Heckstall, 26, was shot in the leg, and Christopher Vinson, 34, was shot in the chest. They are listed in stable condition.
Manhattan Chief of Detectives William Aubry said Wednesday that detectives were talking with witnesses and looking for video.
"We have recovered ballistic evidence and the crime scene search is continuing at this time," he said.
Investigators said there was a security check and a metal detector at the venue, but some at the concert said security was lax, CBS2's Janelle Burrell reported.
"We're looking into that and that's going to be part of the investigation," Aubry said.
One concert-goer offered his own thoughts.
"It was easy. Anyone could have gone in there with a piece," he said.
Police sources said it doesn't appear that the VIP group was checked. Police said they are monitoring social media to see if there was an ongoing beef that sparked the shooting.
On Twitter, Irving Plaza said the "safety of our guests is of the utmost importance" and said until further details are known, all inquiries are being referred to the NYPD.
Wednesday's incident was the third shooting either during or after a T.I. concert over the last decade.
In 2006, shots were fired at a show he performed at in Cincinnati. That shooting left his friend and personal assistant Philant Johnson dead and three others hurt.
Two people were hurt in another shooting last March at a nightclub in Charlotte, North Carolina, where T.I. was set to perform.
The Atlanta-based rapper was also sentenced to 11 months in prison back in 2010 on federal gun charges.
T.I. released a tweet Thursday mourning the loss of life.
In response to Bratton's comments Thursday, Mayor Bill de Blasio was asked whether he personally believes the rap world fosters violence, WCBS 880's Rich Lamb reported.
"I would say it differently. I think rap, like any other genre, is very, very diverse," he said. "But I could say that about a lot of genres. I could say that about popular culture in general, I could say that about popular movies.
"This is not a state secret -- a huge amount of money is made in this country glorifying violence," de Blasio added. "I think it's a much bigger problem than just rap, and I don't think you generalize about rap. I think our culture glorifies violence, I think it's an American problem."
He said he is "relatively current" because of the musical choices of his children.
"So I hear a lot and some is thoughtful and socially conscious and some I find distasteful," he said.
CBS2 reached out to the musicians who performed Wednesday, but so far none have returned a request for comment.
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