Lil Tjay was shot several times during what authorities said was a botched robbery attempt early Wednesday morning (June 23). According to a press statement from the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, the 21-year-old New York MC (born Tione Jayden Merritt) was struck multiple times in the incident on a shopping promenade in Edgewater, N.J., in what prosecutors called an attempted robbery of the rapper and two of his friends.
“Just after midnight, on Wednesday, June 22, 2022, the Edgewater Police Department received multiple 911 calls reporting shots fired in the area of 14 The Promenade in Edgewater, NJ,” read the release. “Upon their arrival to the area, officers found 21-year-old Tione ‘Lil TJay’ Merritt with multiple gunshot wounds and Antoine Boyd with a single gunshot wound.”
New York resident Mohamed Konate, 27, was arrested and charged with three counts of first-degree attempted murder, three counts of first-degree armed robbery, second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon, second-degree certain persons not to possess a firearm, and fourth-degree aggravated assault.
Konate is accused of shooting at Tjay, as well as his friends Jeffrey Valdez, 24, and Boyd, 22, who was also injured in the incident. Both Valdez and Boyd were also arrested following the shooting on second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon, and are being held in Bergen County Jail.
Konate was arrested by detectives from the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, and NYPD and is awaiting extradition to New Jersey.
On Tuesday night, Tjay reportedly posted a since-deleted Instagram Story in which he said, “Just because you’ve been around a person doesn’t make you entitled to the fruits of that persons labor. Envy Is At An All Time High Be Safe Otchea.” At press time, the extent of Lil Tjay’s injuries were unclear and a spokesperson told Billboard that no additional information was available about his condition.
Back in April, Tjay’s “In My Head” debuted at No. 33 on the Billboard Hot 100, falling short of matching his previous chart peak at No. 3 with “Calling My Phone” with 6LACK.