Man who allegedly shot rapper Lil Tjay arrested, charged
The man who allegedly shot Bronx rapper Lil Tjay in New Jersey on Wednesday has been arrested and is facing a mountain of charges.
Among them: attempted murder, armed robbery and weapons charges, according to law enforcement officials in New Jersey.
The shooting occurred after 27-year-old suspect Mohamed Konate allegedly tried to rob the “Goin’ Up” rapper and two other men, said a press statement from the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office.
The Edgewater Police Dept. received multiple 911 calls just after midnight early Wednesday, reporting shots fired at 14 Promenade, a shopping plaza in Edgewater that houses a Chipotle restaurant.
Officers on the scene said they found Lil Tjay, 21, with multiple gunshot wounds and 22-year-old Antoine Boyd with a single gunshot wound. A third person, Jeffrey Valdez, 24, was with them and he and Boyd each were in possession of an unlawful weapon at the time, officials said.
Lil Tjay, real name Tione Merritt, and Boyd reportedly were transported to an area hospital for treatment, according to the New York Post and TMZ, where Tjay reportedly underwent emergency surgery on Wednesday.
While the statement did not provide an update on their health, a follow-up tweet from BCPO on Wednesday said one victim, presumably Lil Tjay, was “upgraded from critical to stable condition” and the other “admitted to hospital with non-life threatening injuries” is “in good condition.”
The tweet also said that the shooting “does not appear to be [a] random act.”
BCPO detectives and the New York Police Dept. arrested Konate later Wednesday and his extradition to New Jersey is pending, according to the office’s Wednesday statement.
Konate is being charged with three counts of first-degree attempted murder, three counts of first-degree armed robbery, second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon, second-degree certain persons not to possess a firearm and fourth-degree aggravated assault, according to the statement.
Valdez and Boyd were arrested and charged Wednesday with second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon and were being held at the Bergen County Jail pending their initial hearing in Hackensack, N.J.
Lil Tjay broke out on SoundCloud and was signed by Columbia Records in 2018, the Post reported. He released his debut album, “True 2 Myself,” in October 2019 and it peaked at No. 5 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart.
The artist has more than 7 million followers on Instagram and 4.9 million followers on TikTok.
Representatives for the rapper did not respond to The Times’ requests for comment.