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New York rapper Lil Tai was gunned down on a shopping street in Edgewater, New Jersey just after midnight Wednesday, in what Bergen County prosecutors said was a robbery attempt against him and two of his friends.
Prosecutors announced the arrest of 27-year-old Mohamed Konate from New York on charges of attempted murder, armed robbery and gun crimes, accusing the man of shooting at the rapper, whose real name is Thione Merritt, as well as 24-year-old Jeffrey Valdez. , and Antoine Boyd, 22, both from the Bronx, who were with him.
Lil Tai was shot multiple times during the attack, resulting in Boyd also receiving one gunshot wound, prosecutors says in a press release Wednesday evening.
Prosecutors said earlier that one victim was taken to the hospital in critical condition but by then was assessed as stable, while another victim was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries and is in “good” condition.
But the later announcement did not explicitly state whether Lil Tjai was described as suffering more serious injuries.
Valdez and Boyd were also arrested following the incident on weapons charges and held at the Bergen County Jail, prosecutors said.
As of Wednesday evening, Konate was awaiting extradition to New Jersey.
It was reported by TMZ on Wednesday morning. that Lil Tjay underwent emergency surgery, citing law enforcement sources.
Edgewater Police and the Bergen County Attorney’s Office were at the mall after 7 a.m. Wednesday inspecting a red Dodge Durango with a bullet hole in the driver’s window and a bloody towel.
Lil Tjay has 7 million followers on Instagram and has released two studio albums on Columbia Records, both top five on the Billboard 200. His 2021 song with singer 6lack “Calling My Name” debuted at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 .
Lil Tai posted a story to Instagram on Tuesday night, writing, “Being close to a person doesn’t entitle you to the fruits of that person’s labor. Envy is always high, stay safe Father.”
The shooting took place on the west side of City Place, a mixed-use development on a former industrial site on the Hudson River with shops and restaurants on the ground floor and five floors of high-end condominiums above. In the evening, the complex is usually noisy, but after the closing of restaurants and shops it subsides significantly. The complex has round-the-clock security with guards on cars patrolling the facility.