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Brother of Slain Troy Ave Bodyguard Lashes Out After Radio Diss

 Ronald McPhatter, 33, died after shooting erupted at Irving Plaza on May 25, police said.
Ronald McPhatter, 33, died after shooting erupted at Irving Plaza on May 25, police said.
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Shanduke McPhatter

CROWN HEIGHTS — Embattled rapper Troy Ave publicly accused the family of his slain bodyguard of burying his friend without a headstone and refusing his help, provoking an angry response from his dead friend's brother.

Troy Ave's radio interview Wednesday on Power 105.1's The Breakfast Club  in which the rapper criticized the family of Ronald “Banga” McPhatter for their handling of his friend’s funeral after a fatal shootout at Irving Plaza that also left Troy Ave wounded, prompted angry words by McPhatter's brother.

“Troy Ave now you better have that same energy when u see me Vest and all!!!” Shanduke McPhatter wrote on Twitter, referring to the bulletproof vest Troy Ave has taken to wearing in recent months.

Troy Ave, whose legal name is Ronald Collins, launched a $10,000 scholarship fund — $2,000 for five recipients — at his and McPhatter's alma mater, New Utrecht High School, while still waiting behind bars on charges stemming from the shooting.

But in the interview on Wednesday, in response to a question from Breakfast Club host Charlamagne, Troy Ave said he had been stymied in his efforts to sponsor a lavish funeral for his friend.

“We was like family but on paper I’m a friend and at the end of the day, family got say-so on what you can do,” he said. 

Troy Ave said he wanted to pay to have McPhatter’s body marched through the streets of Brooklyn in a horse-drawn carriage and buried in East New York near their favorite Popeye’s joint, but his family opted to bury McPhatter in North Carolina. According to Troy Ave and Charlamagne, McPhatter was buried without a headstone.

DNAinfo was not immediately able to independently verify the details of McPhatter’s burial. 

Troy Ave said prior to his friend’s death, the only family member he had known was McPhatter’s brother, Shanduke, who runs an anti-violence group in Brooklyn. The rest of the family, he said, “came out the woodwork” after his death, and refused donations of flowers, asking for money instead.

This criticism of McPhatter’s mother and sisters did not appear to sit well with Shanduke McPhatter, who asked his followers on Twitter to keep his family in their thoughts.

“Please pay for my mother and sisters,” he tweeted. “The Trauma!!”

McPhatter did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

McPhatter, who was 33, was a longtime friend of Troy Ave and was working for him on May 25 when a brawl broke out at a T.I. concert at Irving Plaza. The fight, which began in a second-floor VIP area, turned violent as someone produced a gun, letting off several shots in the green room. Troy Ave was then captured on surveillance footage running out of the room, already wounded in both legs, and letting off at least one shot in the crowded club.

During the melee, McPhatter was hit in the torso and later died of his injuries. Troy Ave was arrested the next day on attempted murder and weapons charges, and the popular podcaster Taxstone, legal name Daryl Campbell, was arrested about eight months later and charged with bringing the gun into the club that night.

Troy Ave is currently out on $500,000 bail and also awaiting trial, and was recently allowed to perform again after living under bail restrictions for months that prevented him from leaving the city and from going to any venue.

Taxstone, who has a history of criticizing rappers on his show, was arrested in December after investigators linked him to the weapon that killed McPhatter. He is being held in federal custody without bail as he awaits trial.

He has not been charged with murder, but prosecutors have made multiple comments implicating him directly in McPhatter’s death, including a comment by Assistant US Attorney Hagan Scotten on Tuesday in which he said Campbell “had a gun in his hand and he murdered someone.”

At a hearing in December, prosecutors said they had a witness prepared to finger Taxstone as the man responsible for firing the shot that killed McPhatter, according to the Daily News.