Rapper held on unrelated charges after Little Rock shooting
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A rapper whose concert in Little Rock was the site of a shooting that left 28 people injured was arrested early Sunday on unrelated assault charges while outside an Alabama club where he was performing just 24 hours later, and authorities said several firearms were recovered during the arrest.
Ricky Hampton, 25, of Memphis, Tennessee, also known as Finese 2Tymes, was arrested on outstanding charges of aggravated assault with a gun out of Forrest City in eastern Arkansas, the U.S. Marshals Service said. A second man also was taken into custody.
Several firearms seized by federal authorities during Hampton's arrest will be sent to a crime lab in Arkansas to determine whether they match shell casings found at the scene of the shooting early Saturday at the Power Ultra Lounge, said Little Rock Police Lt. Steven McClanahan.
McClanahan said no arrests have been made in the shooting in which 25 people between the ages of 16 and 35 suffered gunshot wounds, and three others were hurt afterward. He said police did not recover any weapons at the scene of the shooting, which authorities believe may have been gang-related.
"We are definitely looking at that possibility," McClanahan said. "We know that gang members were present inside."
Material advertising the concert by Finese 2Tymes showed a man pointing a gun at a camera, drawing a rebuke from Mayor Mark Stodola.
Hampton was being held Sunday without bond in Alabama. A message posted on the rapper's Facebook page Saturday offered thoughts and prayers for those injured: "THE VIOLENCE IS NOT FOR THE CLUB PEOPLE. WE ALL COME WITH 1 MOTIVE AT THE END OF THE DAY, AND THATS TO HAVE FUN."
A woman who answered a phone number listed on Finese 2Tymes' Instagram account for booking said the rapper didn't consider canceling the Birmingham show, despite the shooting, because he wasn't responsible for what happened. The woman didn't give her name before hanging up.
The volley of gunfire inside the Power Ultra Lounge came so fast that investigators believe multiple people had to have been involved. Police Chief Kenton Buckner credited quick work by first responders for there being no fatalities.
City officials said they would move Monday to shut down the club under a "criminal abatement" program. State regulators suspended the club's liquor license Saturday, and a representative for the landlord's office later posted an eviction notice on a door to the club. The notice stated that the club must move out of the property within three days "due to your failure to maintain the premises in a safe condition."