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Third victim dies after weekend rush

Third victim dies after weekend rush

ROCHESTER, NY — A third woman, seriously injured when a large crowd poured out of a rap concert in Rochester, New York, has died, Rochester Police Department said Thursday.

All three women were trampled as the crowd exited Rochester’s Main Street Armory following a GloRilla concert on Sunday night. Two women — Rhondesia Belton, 33, of Buffalo, New York, and Brandy Miller, 35, of Rochester — both died Monday.

Police identified the third victim as Aisha Stephens, 35, of Syracuse. She died Wednesday from her injuries, Lt. Greg Bello of the Rochester Police Department.

The incident happened just after 11 p.m. Sunday when people were exiting the armory after a concert by Memphis rappers GloRilla and Finesse2tymes. After the stampede, seven other people were treated at nearby hospitals for non-life-threatening injuries.

Crowds at major events in the US and around the world have proven deadly before. In 2021, 10 people died in a crowd of 50,000 at a concert by rapper Travis Scott.

TRAGEDY IN ROCHESTER, NEW YORK: Crowd at GloRilla, Finesse2Tymes concert in New York leaves two women dead

“DESTRUCTED AND BROKEN”: GloRilla tweets after deadly rush to Rochester concert

Police investigate deadly crowd, venue closed indefinitely

Rochester Police Chief David Smith said Monday the injuries appeared to be the result of a crowd crowding towards the exits on Sunday night after they thought they heard gunfire.

Although there was no evidence of gunfire, Smith said Monday police are investigating several possible causes of the deadly surge, including “possibly the size of the crowd, gunfire fired, pepper spray and other factors.” He did not provide any further details on the progress of the investigation this week.

City officials closed the venue indefinitely on Wednesday by refusing to renew Armory’s entertainment license, which was posted at the venue. This means the Main Street Armory cannot hold a public entertainment “until there is a full and thorough review of this matter,” Smith said Wednesday.

Rochester Mayor Malik Evans called the deadly stampede “completely unacceptable” and promised a thorough investigation into whether the venue’s operators had taken the necessary safety measures to accommodate a large crowd. According to city officials, the venue’s main arena has a capacity of about 5,000 people.

GloRilla, whose 2022 song “FNF (Let’s Go)” with Hitkidd was nominated for a Grammy for Best Rap Performance, tweeted that she was “devastated and heartbroken” that women had died following her Sunday show. She said she is praying “for their families and for a speedy recovery for all those affected.”

Contribution: The Associated Press

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