Charges for artist AKA Roland Collins could be upgraded to murder after ballistics test, as prosecutors claim he ‘recklessly fired a gun five times in a crowded venue’
Rapper Troy Ave, who was charged after a deadly shooting at a New York City concert hall, has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder.
The artist, real name Roland Collins, was called before the court on Monday following the shooting during which one person was killed and three others wounded. The Daily News reports that Collins, who was one of the injured, was arraigned on charges including attempted murder. Rapper TI, who was set to headline the show but had not yet taken to the stage, was not involved in the shooting and was unharmed, the newspaper also states.
After ballistics tests, the charges could be upgraded to include murder.
Prosecutors say Collins “recklessly fired a gun five times in a crowded venue” with no concern about the consequences.
Defence attorney Scott Leemon says 30-year-old Ronald McPhatter, one of Collins’s bodyguards who died in the shooting, wasn’t shot by Collins. Prosecutors say Collins shot himself in the leg with his own 9mm, while Leemon claims the bullet came from another person.
“He didn’t shoot himself, he didn’t shoot his lifelong friend and bodyguard, Ronald McPhatter,” Leemon told AllHipHop.com. “Ronald died a hero and should be remembered that way. The snippet of the video released by NYPD doesn’t tell the whole story.”
Following the incident on 25 May, The New York Daily News reported that an employee of the venue said the shooting was the result of “a beef between two rival crews”, associated with different rappers who had credentials to get into the green room.
A separate witness who was in the green room, Johnny Wilkins, told the Daily News: “It was a fight over a push, it was some bullshit. It was like 50 or 60 people in the VIP room. It was crazy. It’s crazy more people didn’t get shot.”
Police left open the possibility that a revolver was also fired. Troy Ave has pleaded not guilty to the charges and is being held without bail.