A gunman remained at large Sunday after wounding rap mogul Marion “Suge” Knight at a party coinciding with the MTV Video Music Awards, police said.
Knight, 40, was shot once in the upper right leg early Sunday at a star-studded party in Miami Beach that was hosted by Grammy-wining hip hop artist Kanye West.
A police report described the shooter only as a black male wearing a pink shirt.
“We are interviewing all the witnesses we can to hopefully develop a composite,” Miami Beach police spokesman Bobby Hernandez said.
It was the latest in a string of violent incidents that have shadowed the rap world, including the killings of stars Tupac Shakur in 1996, Notorious B.I.G. in 1997 and Jam Master Jay of Run DMC in 2002.
‘I heard a pop’Knight was admitted to Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach in good condition. Hospital officials said he was scheduled for surgery to remove a bullet from his leg and repair a broken bone.
A group of friends waiting at the hospital said Knight was alert and talkative after the shooting. Knight’s attorney in Los Angeles, Dermot Givens, did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.
Several witnesses said Knight was sitting at a table in the VIP Red Room section of the Shore Club when a man walked up and opened fire shortly after midnight. No one else was injured.
“I was dancing beside him, then I heard a pop that sounded like a champagne bottle had been opened, then I saw his bodyguards throw themselves on him,” New York-based artist Lilo Kinne told The Miami Herald. “It happened so fast, people were in a panic, trying to get out of there.”
Celebrities who attended the party included Jessica Alba, Eddie Murphy, Paris Hilton, the Game and The Black Eyed Peas, but it was not clear if they were still there when the shooting happened.
The first police officer to respond to the shooting was an off-duty Florida Highway Patrol officer who was working security at the nightclub, Hernandez said.
Knight co-founded the pioneering rap label Death Row Records and hit the charts in the 1990s with West Coast stars including Snoop Dogg and Shakur.
He was convicted in 1992 of assault and weapons violations and was placed on probation. In 1996, he was jailed for five years for violating probation after he and several associates, including Shakur, were recorded on videotape beating a gang rival at a Las Vegas hotel. Hours after that fight, Shakur was fatally wounded as he was riding in a car with Knight.
Relatives of Notorious B.I.G. have accused Knight of involvement in B.I.G.’s death, though police have never named Knight as a suspect.