New York rapper Lil Tjay was shot at a shopping promenade in Edgewater just after midnight Wednesday, in what the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office called an attempted robbery against the rapper and two of his friends.
Prosecutors announced the arrest of Mohamed Konate, 27, of New York City, on charges of attempted murder, armed robbery and weapons offenses, accusing the man of firing at the rapper, who’s real name is Tione Merritt, as well as Jeffrey Valdez, 24, and Antoine Boyd, 22, both of the Bronx, who were with him.
Tjay was struck multiple times in the maelstrom, which also injured Boyd, Prosecutors said Wednesday night.
Prosecutors had said earlier that one victim was taken to the hospital in critical condition but was by then described as stable, while the other victim was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries and is in “good” condition.
But the later announcement did not directly delineate whether Merritt was the one described as having suffered the more severe injuries between the two victims.
Valdez and Boyd were also arrested following the incident on weapons possession charges and were both being held in Bergen County Jail, according to prosecutors.
As of 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Konate was awaiting extradition to New Jersey.
TMZ reported Wednesday morning that Merritt, underwent emergency surgery, citing law enforcement sources.
Edgewater police and the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office were at the shopping center after 7 a.m. Wednesday, inspecting a red Dodge Durango with a bullet hole in the driver’s window, as well as a blood-stained towel.
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Tjay has 7 million followers on Instagram and has released two studio albums through Columbia Records that each charted in the top 5 on the Billboard 200. His 2021 song with singer 6lack “Calling My Name” debuted at number three on the Billboard Hot 100.
On Tuesday night, Tjay posted an Instagram story that 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.”
The shooting happened at the western end of City Place, a mixed-use development on a former Hudson River industrial site with stores and restaurants on the first floor and five stories of high-end condominiums above. The complex is usually bustling in the evening but dies down considerably after the restaurants and stores close. The complex has 24-hour security with guards in cars patrolling the facility.
Hatice Mumcu, who works and lives in the complex, did not hear or see the shooting and was surprised to learn about it Wednesday afternoon, saying nothing like this has ever happened there.
Adel Gobran, who is staying at the Homewood Suites around the corner from the Chipotle said he isn’t worried about staying there, despite the shooting.
“It’s quiet here, I like it,” said Gobran, who lives in Queens.