Now at least two people have died due to a crowd crush event in Rochester after a GloRilla concert.
Police say the crowd began surging toward the exits after suspected gunfire, but say they have no evidence to prove gunfire happened. Following news of the first death, rapper GloRilla shared his sympathies with the victims and those who sustained injuries during the chaos. The rapper says he was unaware the crowd crush happened until after he left the venue that night.
“I am devastated and heartbroken over the tragic deaths that happened after Sunday’s show,” the rapper writes on Twitter. “My fans mean the world to me praying for their families and for a speedy recovery of everyone affected.”
According to Police Chief David Smith, there are several suspected causes based on eyewitness testimony. “We are hearing many reports of potential cause, including crowd size, shots fired, pepper spray, and more. Preliminary reports from people at the scene indicate that these injuries were caused from being trampled. We do not have any evidence of gunshots being fired or anyone being shot or stabbed.
When police were able to get into the auditorium, they found three women who were badly injured. Rhondesia Belton, 33, died at a nearby hospital. A second woman, Brandy Miller, 35, died on Monday morning. The third woman remains in critical condition with significant injuries. At least seven other people are being treated for injuries in relation to the crowd crush, but those injuries are not considered life-threatening.
Some fans who were in the crowd when the chaos began describe being unable to move. “Me and the girl next to me were climbing on each other trying to get each other up,” Ikea Hayes told Rochester news station WHEC-TV. “I was watching the life flash before my eyes and I still didn’t know what was going on. I remember telling myself you got to get up. You got to move. If you stay here they’re going to keep running you over.”
An investigation has begun to determine whether the venue’s owners exceeded capacity and met all safety requirements.