Two women are dead and eight others are injured, with one suffering life-threatening injuries, from a crowd-related incident following a rap concert in Rochester, New York.
The Memphis rap stars GloRilla and Finesse2tymes had finished performing Sunday night at Rochester’s Main Street Armory when people exiting the venue just after 11 p.m. began to surge dangerously, Police Chief David M. Smith said at a news briefing Monday.
“We do not have any evidence of gunshots being fired or of anyone being shot or stabbed at the scene,” Smith said.
Police have identified one of the deceased women as Rhondesia Belton of Buffalo. Police did not share the identity of the second victim. Another woman remains hospitalized in critical condition, police said in a press release Monday afternoon.
The other two victims were listed in critical condition with life-threatening injuries as of Monday morning, said Lt. Nicholas Adams of the Rochester Police Department. Seven additional people were treated at area hospitals for injuries that were not life-threatening.
Axl Rose of Guns N’ Roses will stop throwing mic into crowd after fan was allegedly injured
Just after 11 p.m. after GloRilla and Finesse2Tymes’ concert ended, concert-goers were leaving the venue, and the crowd started to surge and rush toward the exit, said Rochester Police Chief David Smith. There were reports that shots were fired inside the Main Street Armory, a venue at 900 Main St., “causing the crowd to panic,” he said.
“What began last night as a night of live music and fun for the performer GloRilla ended in tragedy with one person dead and two more fighting for their lives,” the chief said.
However, upon arriving on the scene, police said it was determined that none of the injuries sustained by the victims were consistent with a person being shot.
The injuries, according to police, appear to be the result of a large crowd pushing towards the building’s exits following accounts of individuals hearing what they believed to be gunshots.
The incident is currently under investigation.
Memphis rapper GloRilla shared after the incident on Twitter early Monday that she was just learning what happened at the venue after the show and said she is “praying everybody is ok.”
Built from 1905 to 1907 and initially used by the U.S. Army, Rochester’s armory hosted sporting events throughout the 20th century before being shut down for several years starting in the late 1990s, partly because it lacked a fire suppression system at the time.
It reopened after extensive renovations and began hosting concerts and other events in 2005. Its main arena is meant to have a capacity of around 5,000 people, Smith said. The city’s fire marshal will work with police to determine whether that capacity was exceeded Sunday, he said.
Mayor Evans said it was too early to say whether the venue’s next scheduled show, a Saturday performance by the rapper A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, would be allowed to take place.
“If you go to a concert you do not expect to be trampled,” Evans said. “Your loved ones expect you to be able to come home and talk about the experience that you had at that great concert.”
Fatal crowd surges have been a recurring disaster at concerts and other large events in the U.S. and around the world, including a 2021 concert by rapper Travis Scott in which 10 people died.
Related: A year after Travis Scott’s Astroworld disaster left 10 dead, are crowded concerts any safer?
Contributing: Karen Matthews, Associated Press
This article originally appeared on Rochester Democrat and Chronicle: GloRilla concert in Rochester: 2 dead, 8 injured after crowd surge