Rapper pleads not guilty to gig shooting

By Newsbeat

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A rapper charged over a shooting at a New York club has pleaded not guilty.

Troy Ave appeared in court on Monday after one person was killed and three others injured during a hip-hop gig that had been due to feature T.I.

The rapper, whose real name is Roland Collins, is accused of various charges including attempted murder.

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The police say they’ll decide whether to include a murder charge after carrying out ballistics tests on a gun used during the shooting.

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Ronald McPhatter, 30, died at the Irving Plaza nightclub in the city’s Union Square last Thursday.

Prosecutors say Troy Ave “recklessly fired a gun five times in a crowded venue” with no concern about the consequences and that he shot himself in the leg.

New York’s Daily News reports that the rapper winced and had his right leg bandaged as he was helped from a jail van into a wheelchair for the court proceedings.

“This defendant is on video coming out of the VIP room where the individuals were shot,” said Assistant District Attorney Christine Keenan.

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“He had the gun in his hand and was seen firing that gun in the direction of fleeing patrons.”

Defence lawyer Scott Leemon says Ronald McPhatter wasn’t killed by the rapper and that someone else shot Troy Ave in the leg.

“What really happened here is Mr Collins here is the real victim,” he said.

“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.

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“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.”

Relatives of the dead man, who was found near the bar of the VIP area, said he was working as a security guard for Troy Ave when he was shot.



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