NEW YORK: One person was killed and three others injured at a prominent New York music venue late Wednesday during a show to be headlined by rapper T I, police said.
Witnesses reported shots ringing out just after 10 pm (0200 GMT Thursday) shortly before T I, an Atlanta rapper with a history of legal run-ins, was to take the stage at Irving Plaza.
One person was confirmed dead and three others were injured, a police spokesman said.
The 1,025-capacity club, owned by entertainment giant Live Nation, is a major venue for rising artists as well as intimate shows by established acts.
With fans rushing out of the venue, police sealed off the area of the club off Union Square, a bustling Manhattan thoroughfare day and night.
Thousands of Americans are killed each year in gun violence but shootings are comparatively rare at music clubs, which generally assign security guards to frisk guests for weapons.
Several social media users wrote that the shots appeared to have come from either backstage or the VIP area rather than in the main part of the crowd.
Police said they had not yet made arrests or assigned a motive.
T I, whose real name is Clifford Harris, is one of the leading forces in trap music, a style of hip-hop from the US south that emphasizes aggressive lyricism and 1980s-style drum machines.
He served seven months in prison in 2009 for attempting to buy unregistered machine guns from dealers who turned out to be undercover agents.
He spent another 10 months in prison two years later for violating terms of probation on drug charges.
Three of his successive albums between 2006 and 2008 — “King,” “T.I. vs. T.I.P.” and “Paper Trail” — opened at number one on the US Billboard chart.
He has won three Grammy Awards including for the song “My Love,” a collaboration with pop star Justin Timberlake.