Suspect Arrested in Connection to Shooting of Rapper Lil Tjay
Authorities in New Jersey have made an arrest in connection to the shooting of rapper Lil Tjay.
The Bergen County Prosecutor's Office on Wednesday said in a press release that Mohamed Konate of New York was arrested and charged with attempted murder, armed robbery and weapons charges. The office said that its investigation with the Edgewater, New Jersey Police Department revealed that Konate, 27, attempted to commit armed robbery against 21-year-old Lil Tjay, Jeffrey Valdez, and Antoine Boyd.
Konate allegedly shot Lil Tjay, whose real name is Tione Merritt, multiple times while Boyd, 22, was shot once, according to the release.
The Edgewater Police Department had responded to reports of a shooting at The Promenade in Edgewater at 12:08 a.m. on Wednesday, authorities said. Lil Tjay was found at the scene, while Boyd was found with the single gunshot wound at a nearby Exxon gas station.
Both victims were transported to a local hospital for treatment, the release said.
The extent of Lil Tjay's injuries remain unclear, but TMZ reported Thursday that the rapper underwent emergency surgery following the shooting.
Konate has been charged with three counts of first-degree 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 prosecutor's office. The New York native was arrested by detectives from the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office and the New York City Police Department, and his extradition to New Jersey is pending.
The two Bronx men with Lil Tjay's at the time of the shooting, Boyd and Valdez, 24, were also arrested and each charged with second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon, officials said.
It is unclear if they have obtained council.
The Bronx-born Tjay rose to fame sharing his own music on SoundCloud, and eventually released his debut studio album True 2 Myself in 2019 on Columbia Records.
His song "F.N." has more than 523 million streams on Spotify, and he has more than 7 million followers on Instagram. Tjay was also recently announced as a performer at this year's Rolling Loud music festival, which is set for Sept. 23-25 in Queens, New York.
In April, he announced a new EP titled Strictly4MyFans would be coming soon.
"This summer I promise I'm back on my s—," he wrote in a note to fans on Twitter. "No more 1 song every 5 months [a]nd s— we done with that we going up [a]nd I'm coming for everything I deserve."
As news of the shooting broke, fellow stars like The Kid Laroi and French Montana offered their support on social media.
"PRAY FOR TJAY ." The Kid Laroi wrote on Twitter.