Man shot dead at TI concert in New York named by police
Police have named a man shot dead inside a New York concert venue where rapper TI was due to perform.
Authorities said 33-year-old Ronald McPhatter was shot in the stomach during Wednesday night's shooting. His brother, Shanduke McPhatter, runs an anti-violence non-profit organisation called Gangstas Making Astronomical Community Changes.
Another three people were injured after also being shot following a fight which broke out in the VIP area of the Irving Plaza, near Manhattan's Union Square.
Brooklyn-based rapper Roland Collins, who goes by the stage name Troy Ave, was shot in the leg, 26-year-old Maggie Heckstall was also shot in the leg and 34-year-old Christopher Vinson was shot in the chest. All three are in a stable condition.
Police said it does not appear that TI was involved in the dispute. No arrests have been made.
New York City's police commissioner described rappers as "basically thugs" following the incident.
In an interview with WCBS radio, William Bratton criticised "the crazy world of these so-called rap artists who are basically thugs that basically celebrate violence they did all their lives".
He said: "Unfortunately, that violence often times manifests itself during their performances."
TI was getting ready to perform when the shooting happened. Performers Maino and Uncle Murda were on stage at the time.
Police said a dispute between two groups travelled from a top floor down to outside the green room at the Irving Plaza.
Commissioner Bratton said even after rappers become famous, they "continue hanging out with the same people they hung out with when they came out of that world of desperation, poverty, and crime".
He said the investigation is progressing "very rapidly" and that police are searching for the gunman.
Irving Plaza is a 1,025-person ballroom-style music venue.
Elijah Rodriguez was attending the concert with his sister and they were in the VIP area by the stage.
He said TI was supposed to go on stage at 9 or 9.30pm but "he never showed up".
At around 10pm he said the venue started playing music again, and 15 minutes later he saw a line of people emerging from where the performers were coming onstage.
"All of a sudden I heard someone saying that there was a shot, that someone got shot," he said.
"It was scary to deal with. When I got outside, like literally across the street, there were a few girls having, like, panic attacks. One girl thought she saw someone get shot in front of her."
Video shot inside the venue showed chaotic scenes as concertgoers rushed to the sides trying to leave the area as a group of people tended to a person on the floor.