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Irving Plaza Shooting Victim Was Seduced By Glamour of Rap Scene: Brother

By  Noah  Hurowitz and Valeria Ricciulli | May 26, 2016 3:06pm | Updated on May 26, 2016 6:16pm

 Ronald McPhatter, 33, died after shooting erupted at Irving Plaza on Wednesday night, police said.
Ronald McPhatter, 33, died after shooting erupted at Irving Plaza on Wednesday night, police said.
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Shanduke McPhatter

GRAMERCY — A man who died in a shooting at a T.I. concert at Irving Plaza on Wednesday night was seduced by the easy money and glamour of the nightlife scene, according to his brother, an anti-violence activist.

Ronald McPhatter, 33, who was already facing charges in connection to a Nov. 17 shooting in the Flatiron, died after being shot in the abdomen in a fight between two rival entourages at the Wednesday night concert, police sources said.

Shanduke McPhatter, 37, who runs the anti-violence group Gangstas Making Astronomical Community Changes, told DNAinfo New York his brother was an outgoing, energetic man who used to play semi-professional basketball.

Ronald McPhatter played basketball in high school and in a semi-professional league, and it was from his ability to shut down the other team that he got his nickname “Banga,” not due to gunplay in the streets, his brother said. 

“They called him ‘Banga’ because he’s banging on tall dudes in basketball, not because he’s banging and shooting people down in the streets,” he said at a press conference on Thursday.

McPhatter said his brother helped his anti-violence initiative at times, but that he was more partial to hanging out with rappers like his childhood friend, the rapper Troy Ave, who he was working with as a bodyguard on Wednesday night when the shooting erupted.

“Nonprofit work isn’t lucrative, it isn’t sexy,” McPhatter said. “Women, and rappers, and alcohol, it’s more fun and more exciting, so he left community work behind.”

Troy Ave, whose real name is Roland Collins, was shot in the leg and was treated at a New York University hospital last night, according to police.

The NYPD on Thursday afternoon released footage of the chaos inside Irving Plaza, which appears to depict Troy Ave staggering onto the club's balcony after being wounded and letting off a single shot from a handgun, according to police sources.

At Thursday's press conference, McPhatter's mother, Rose McPhatter, pledged that her son's death would not be in vain.

"I'm not going to stop until I get justice for my son," she said as supporters chanted Ronald's name.

Ronald McPhatter died just weeks after his release from Rikers Island on $100,000 bond. He had been locked up since Nov. 25, 2015 on charges of assault and weapons possession in connection to a shooting outside Pergola, a hookah bar and restaurant at 36 W. 28th St. in the Flatiron, in which a bystander was injured, according to police.

The fight erupted when two groups traded insults inside the bar, and as the adversaries left Pergola just before 2 a.m. the argument turned violent, police said.

Surveillance footage from the scene showed two men, later identified as Ronald McPhatter and Gadell Gibbs, 33, approaching another man, later identified as Charles Dunwoody, 37, of Corona, and opening fire on him, according to police. Dunwoody allegedly fired back before all three fled, officials said.

In the mayhem a stray bullet hit a 21-year-old woman standing on the corner of West 28th Street and Sixth Avenue, police said. Medics transported the woman to Bellevue Hospital Center, where she was treated for minor injuries, police said.

McPhatter’s next court date was scheduled for June 29, court records show.