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Rapper Troy Ave Arrested in Deadly Irving Plaza Shooting, Police Say

By  Murray Weiss William Mathis and Aidan Gardiner | May 26, 2016 11:41am | Updated on May 26, 2016 8:44pm

 Rapper Troy Ave was arrested on attempted murder and weapons charges following a deadly May 25 shooting at Irving Plaza, police said.
Rapper Troy Ave was arrested on attempted murder and weapons charges following a deadly May 25 shooting at Irving Plaza, police said.
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Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Coors Light

UNION SQUARE —  Rapper Troy Ave was arrested on attempted murder and weapons charges in connection with Wednesday night's deadly shooting at a T.I. concert at Irving Plaza, officials announced Thursday evening.

The arrest came shortly after the NYPD released surveillance video showing Troy, whose real name is Ronald Collins, 30, charging out of a back room and angrily squeezing off a shot inside Irving Plaza's VIP lounge at an unidentified person who was fleeing from the private second floor area.

Troy brought himself to New York University hospital after accidentally shooting himself in the leg while taking out his gun, sources said.

Police said Troy's bodyguard, Ronald McPhatter, 33, was shot and killed. It is not clear if there was another shooting, but at least five shots can be heard on tapes not released to the media, sources said.

Sources said the deadly shooting at  T.I.'s concert Wednesday night may have stemmed from a long-running feud between the entourages of the two opening acts, Uncle Murda and Maino.

In addition to Troy and McPhatter, two other concertgoers were wounded, at least one of whom appears to be an innocent bystander.

Investigators believe that Troy, Uncle Murda, Maino and their entourages allegedly  bypassed metal detectors and a security pat down.

They were all hanging out in the venue's second-floor green room as Uncle Murda and Maino performed ahead of the headliner, sources said.

Sources say Murda and Maino's crews have a longstanding dispute and they started jostling each other in the green room, which was filled with about 20 people, sources said.

"Fisticuffs broke out and then gunplay directly there after. It went on for about five minutes, the fight, and then someone pulled a gun. People were shot," said the NYPD's Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce.

As shots rang out, the audience of about 950 people panicked and scattered, nearly trampling one another, witnesses and police said.

"It looks like they were injured trying to get out of the place. Gunshots were heard on the top floor, and people tried to get out of there," Boyce said.

"It was a scramble to get out of the place. There was a lot of furniture tumbled over and some glasses spilled," Boyce added.

McPhatter was hit in the stomach and pronounced dead at Beth Israel Hospital, sources said.

"We're trying to determine exactly where he was shot. EMS treated him several feet away over by the bar section," Boyce said.

Many witnesses were refusing to cooperate with the police, officials said.

McPhatter was recently released from Rikers Island in March on $100,000 bond for wounding a bystander in a Flatiron club shooting in November, which was also sparked by feuding entourages.

Maggie Heckstall, 26, an aspiring R&B singer, was hit in the leg during the Wednesday shooting and treated at Bellevue Hospital, where she's been listed in stable condition and visited by rapper 50 Cent, sources said.

A bullet also pierced the wooden floorboards of the venue and hit Christopher Vinson, 34, in the chest, sources said, adding that he had no connection to the feud upstairs. He's also listed in stable condition at Bellevue, police said.

The Blanch Law Firm, which is representing Heckstall and Maino — whose birth name is Jermaine Coleman, denied Maino was feuding with Troy Ave and insisted he had no association to the "senseless acts of violence."

Police recovered five bullet casings, four of which definitively match a single gun, police said. Investigators are still trying to determine the origin of the fifth shell.

"It's unfortunate the gangster rap world is still an issue we're dealing with — the gangster lifestyle, if you will,” NYPD Commissioner Bratton said earlier Thursday on WOR Radio.

Maino, who grew up in Bedford-Stuyvesant, said he used to make a living off "petty crimes" and was once involved in a "drug-related kidnapping," according to an old biography on his website.

He started rapping during a decade-long stint behind bars, he said on his website.

Uncle Murda, who is from East New York, was arrested in 2005 for selling drugs. He released an album titled "Respect the Shooter" in 2006 and was shot in the head while sitting in a parked car on Linden Boulevard in 2008.

McPhatter, who was fatally struck, has 10 prior arrests, including aggravated assault, marijuana possession and resisting arrest, sources said.

Despite their crews' longstanding dispute, Maino and Uncle Murda teamed up in 2014 to film a tribute to Eric Garner titled "Hands Up." The video features the two of them pointing guns at a police officer's head.

Two attorneys with the Bronx Defenders, a city-funded public defender organization, resigned from their posts after appearing in the video.