New York rapper Troy Ave has been formally charged with attempted murder and criminal possession of a weapon stemming from a shooting at T.I.’s New York concert May 25th that left one person dead and four people, including Troy Ave, injured. The rapper born Roland Collins pleaded not guilty to all charges at a hearing Monday night at Manhattan Criminal Court.
At the hearing, both prosecutors and the defense mapped out their version of the events that led to the shooting, which resulted in the death of Troy Ave’s bodyguard and friend Ronald “Edgar” McPhatter. Troy Ave himself appeared in court in a wheelchair after being shot in the leg in the incident. He was arrested May 26th in connection to the shooting.
According to the New York Daily News, the shooting took place after rapper Maino’s set at the Irving Plaza concert. Maino and Troy Ave had reportedly been beefing, and the gunshots occurred in the green room above the stage area, with surveillance video from the incident showing Troy Ave emerging backstage and opening fire.
An investigator told the court that the 11-second video was the primary evidence in the decision to charge the rapper with attempted murder and possession of a firearm. “This defendant is on video coming out of the VIP room where the individuals were shot,” Assistant District Attorney Christine Keenan said. “He had the gun in his hand and was seen firing that gun in the direction of fleeing patrons.”
Troy Ave’s charges could be upgraded if ballistic tests determine his firearm was responsible for the death of McPhatter.
Initial reports from the incident claimed that Troy Ave accidentally shot both himself and McPhatter, but Scott Leemon, one of Troy Ave’s lawyers, denied that allegation. “The person who was killed at this event, he died a hero. He was his bodyguard. He wasn’t shot by Mr. Collins. He was a lifelong friend,” Leemon said. “This 11 seconds of video that the NYPD released, it doesn’t say what happened before, it doesn’t say what happened after. The scientific evidence will show he didn’t shoot himself.”
The defense’s account of what happened May 25th stressed that Troy Ave’s actions were in self-defense, as he and McPhatter were first shot by an unnamed assailant prior to the 11-second video. That assailant dropped the gun in the backstage area, the defense said, at which point Troy Ave picked up the weapon and opened fire on the initial shooter as seen in the video.
Despite Troy Ave’s lack of a criminal record, the judge overseeing Monday’s hearing denied the rapper’s request of a $50,000 bail, instead opting to keep Troy Ave in custody without bail until his trial begins.