One of three people shot during a nightclub melee that involved Sean "Puffy" Combs says she saw the rap impresario fire a gun just before she was wounded. But Natania Reuben, 30, testified yesterday (
One of three people shot during a nightclub melee that involved Sean "Puffy" Combs says she saw the rap impresario fire a gun just before she was wounded. But Natania Reuben, 30, testified yesterday (Feb. 5) in New York that she did not know who shot her. She was the second witness to say she saw Combs with a gun in Club New York on Dec. 27, 1999, but the first to testify he fired one.
Prosecutors have said the victims were shot by Combs' protegee, rapper Shyne (real name: Jamal Barrow), after an argument in which a club patron threw money at Combs. Barrow is charged with three counts of attempted murder in the shooting. He is on trial with Combs, 31, and Combs' bodyguard, Anthony "Wolf" Jones, 34. Combs and Jones are charged with gun possession and bribery.
Combs, who has pleaded innocent, was arrested after police said a gun was thrown from the vehicle he and some of his entourage used to flee the club. Another gun was allegedly found in the vehicle. Combs was charged with bribery for allegedly offering his driver $50,000 to claim the gun found in the vehicle.
On the witness stand yesterday, Reuben said both Barrow and Combs had guns, and fired. Reuben was struck in the face. She said, "it was like a sledgehammer had hit me in my face ... Blood started pouring out of my face. I just looked up at the sky and said, 'Oh, God, please don't take me. I'm not ready to go.'"
Reuben has filed a $150 million lawsuit against the defendants and others because of her injuries. Combs' attorney, Benjamin Brafman, told Justice Charles Solomon that the lawsuit gave her a motive to lie.
Brafman tried to challenge Reuben's credibility, asking such questions as whether she had ever been arrested or had defrauded the TV show "People's Court" in a case she brought against her landlord. Reuben answered no to most of the questions.
Brafman said he planned to call witnesses to testify that Reuben said she would be a rich woman if Combs is convicted.
The trial resumes tomorrow (Feb. 7).
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