Rapper Troy Ave‘s attorneys appeared outside of New York’s Irving Plaza on Monday afternoon (Aug. 8) to announce that they are suing the venue and Live Nation — which owns the club — for poor security measures. The announcement came two months after a May 25 shooting incident at the Lower East Side venue during a concert headlined by T.I. that left one man dead and three people injured.
“We made a decision that if not for their negligence, the incident would have never taken place,” lawyer Scott Leemon told Billboard over the phone about the claims he and his partners, John Stella and Marc Albert, are making in the suit. “They let someone into the facility with a gun, did not pat them down and that’s where this person coming in, [Troy] would never have been shot.”
Leemon stressed at the press conference that his client did not bring a gun into the venue that night, alleging that any guns that did get in came through the back VIP entrance, where he said security did not pat patrons down.
The Brooklyn rapper was arrested for reckless endangerment, possession of a weapon, and menacing after a video clip surfaced showing him firing a gun during the chaotic scene backstage. Last month, Troy Ave (real name Roland Collins) dodged a murder charge and pled not guilty in a Manhattan court room after a grand jury indicted him on second-degree attempted murder and four counts of criminal possession of a weapon.
Troy was arrested May 26 after the NYPD released an 11-second security camera video showing a man police identified as the rapper emerge from a backstage room at the club with blood on his leg and fire a gun in the direction of people fleeing. Police later found a gun that matched the ballistics taken from the scene in a “secret compartment” in Troy’s car, which had driven him to NYU Langone Hospital following the shooting.
As reported in an earlier Billboard story, authorities have said that the incident began before that in the venue’s green room, where a fight broke out that left Troy and two others injured and Ronald “Banga” McPhatter, Troy’s longtime friend and bodyguard, dead. Troy’s attorneys have said repeatedly that both their client and McPhatter were victims in the situation, and that McPhatter died a hero protecting his friend. Authorities have not ruled out the possibility of a second shooter, though they believe only one gun was involved and no other arrests have been made.
Troy suffered a gunshot wound to his right leg on the night of the shooting and has appeared in court in a wheelchair; he is currently free on a $500,000 bond. The rapper told his version of the events on the Free Troy Ave mixtape, which was mostly recorded before the shooting, but released on June 6. On it, Troy recounts his version of what happened in the green room that night in a phone recording included on the tape’s introduction. “P—y n—a tried to assassinate me/ I took the gun from him and turned the tables ’round like a G,” he raps, echoing a sequence of events that his lawyers have contended.
Billboard has reached out to a Live Nation rep for comment.