NEW YORK • A 33-year-old man was killed and three other people wounded at a prominent New York music venue late Wednesday during a show to be headlined by rapper T.I., police said.
Witnesses reported shots ringing out just after 10pm shortly before T.I., who has a history of legal run-ins, was to take the stage at Irving Plaza, which was packed with about 1,000 people. The gunfire sent panicked concertgoers dashing for the exits.
Police said they had not yet made an arrest or assigned a motive.
A witness spoke of a backstage fight that spilled onto the stage. He described seeing a man falling backwards 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 added that a second fight broke out on the club's floor. Seconds later, he said, he heard the shots.
The club, owned by entertainment giant Live Nation, is a major venue for rising artists and intimate shows by established acts. Shootings are rare at music clubs, which generally have security guards who frisk guests for weapons.
T.I. served seven months in prison in 2009 for attempting to buy unregistered machine guns from dealers who turned out to be undercover agents.
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. The year after, he returned to prison after violating his probation.
NEW YORK TIMES, AGENCE FRANCE- PRESSE