(AllHipHop News) Lawyers for rapper Troy Ave are urging members of the public to come forward with information regarding a violent shooting last week in New York, that left one man dead and three others wounded.
According to Troy Ave's lawyer, many of the eyewitnesses are refusing to assist the NYPD with the investigation.
“We understand that some people have a complete lack of trust for law enforcement (especially NYPD) and the investigations that they conduct,” Scott Leemon told AllHipHop.com. "Based upon that belief, many refuse to cooperate.”
Video from the disturbance clearly shows dozens of people assembled backstage at Irving Plaza in Manhattan, just seconds before four people, including Troy Ave, were wounded after a fist fight in a green room turned into a shootout backstage on May 25, before a concert featuring T.I.
Troy Ave’s lawyers Scott Leemon and John Stella declared that Troy did not shoot himself, nor did he kill his longtime friend, Ronald “Banga” McPhatter, who died after being struck in the stomach by a bullet.
Police have charged Troy Ave, born Roland Collins, with attempted murder. He is being held without bail.
But a lack of assistance from the many bystanders is not only hampering the police’s investigation, it is harming the rapper’s defense.
“Our problem is that this information might be helpful for us to show that the real victims here are “Banga” McPhatter, who died a hero, trying to protect his life-long friend, Troy Ave and Troy, himself, who was shot in the leg,” Scott Leemon told AllHipHop.com
Troy Ave has pleaded not guilty, and his lawyers maintain his innocence, as prosecutors look for clues and attempt to determine if there was a second shooter.
But Troy’s attorneys also need information to mount the rapper’s defense, which could land him in prison for 10 years to life.
"If anyone was present or knows someone who was present in the VIP area that night, please send us your or their contact information and we will have a defense investigator follow up,” Scott Leemon explained to AlHipHop.com.
Troy’s lawyers also think there could be more video and pictures of the conflict floating around that could help vindicate their client.
“If anyone has any video, pictures and/or other information shot that night, please forward it to us with your contact information,” Scott Leemon said.
All information can be privately submitted to TROYAVEINFO@LEEMONLAW.COM.