GRAMERCY — Troy Ave, the rapper accused of the shooting death of his friend backstage at a T.I. show, is suing the owners of Irving Plaza for allowing the gun into the concert venue, according to a lawsuit.
The rapper, whose legal name is Roland Collins, announced the lawsuit on Monday afternoon in front of Irving Plaza, where gunfire broke out in a backstage room on May 25 killing his friend and bodyguard and injuring Troy Ave and two others.
Security guards employed by Irving Plaza, owned by Live Nation Worldwide, allowed Troy Ave and other artists into the venue through a VIP entrance located on the side of the venue without checking for weapons by patting down, using a wand, a metal detector or any other security device, according to the complaint.
One of the rapper's lawyers, Scott Leemon, said he filed the lawsuit in the Brooklyn Supreme Court on Monday. Troy Ave lives in Crown Heights.
"[If it weren't] for their actions Troy never would have been shot, and none of the incidents that took place that night would have happened," Leemon said at the press conference. "He is the victim here. He did not bring a gun into this place, and we are seeking redress for the negligence."
Police believe Troy Ave shot himself in the leg during the outbreak of gunfire, with a bullet going through one leg and striking the other. His friend, Ronald McPhatter, was shot in the stomach and killed during the fray.
Troy Ave was caught in a surveillance video inside the venue firing a gun into a crowd the night of the incident, while people dove for cover. And a gun that matched the one that shot McPhatter was found in a hidden compartment in the car that drove Troy Ave to the hospital, police sources have said.
But in the lawsuit, Troy Ave claims that someone else shot him twice as he entered the green room, a backstage room in the venue where the fight is said to have broke out. That person also shot and killed another individual, the complaint states.
"As a result of the incident, the plaintiff, a 30-year-old promising performer with his entire career ahead of him, has been left with disabling injuries which will forever affect his life, his career and his pursuits," the lawsuit claims.
The violence was preventable and could've been avoided if it weren't for the "negligence" of the venue, according to the complaint, which calls Live Nation "a 'giant' in the music industry."
The rapper is seeking an unspecified amount of damages, including legal fees.
Troy Ave was released on July 11, appearing in court in a wheelchair, after securing $500,000 bail and promising to stay in the five boroughs and not enter any nightclubs, bars or any other venue.
Troy Ave was scheduled to appear on stage as an invited guest of T.I. during the show.
The press conference was brief, and Troy Ave used crutches to limp back to a Jeep double-parked around the corner from the concert hall after addressing reporters.
Leemon and Troy Ave refused to discuss specifics of the criminal case, including who may have brought the gun into the club if not the rapper or a member of his entourage. The rapper stayed mostly silent throughout the press conference, except to say he is trying to move on from that night.
"I'm going through a lot right now, and I just want to get my life back," Troy Ave said.
Live Nation did not immediately respond to request for comment.