Gunfire during a rap concert at Irving Plaza in Manhattan left a 33-year-old-man dead and three other people wounded; police and witnesses state that concertgoers panicked and ran for the exits.
“People were freaking out, Diane Zuluaga, 40, in the balcony at the time, said in an interview. According to Zuluaga, the loud music masked the sound of the first gunshot, but the second was more discernible, causing people to begin evacuation.
The shots began before T.I., the headliner, appeared onstage. Chaos began backstage after 10 p.m., following a fight in the green room. An employee said the gunshots resulted from a conflict between two rival crews associated with Maino and rapper Troy Ave. The gunman and the victims were guests with VIP area access. Ronald McPhatter, 33, who died, fell downstairs after he was shot in the stomach.
“T.I. was about to go on. We saw, like, two people up on the VIP arguing, and then everybody started running because they heard shots,” one woman said. “It was terrifying.”
As of midnight Thursday morning, no one had been arrested. Police are reviewing the security footage from inside and outside the venue. They are investigating how someone got a gun into the venue.