Police in Peoria, Illinois, are investigating a nightclub shooting that occurred during an afterparty for Ja Rule, who had just finished performing at the Peoria Civic Center.
According to a police report, Ja Rule was standing near the dance floor at Club Ignition around 1 a.m. on Monday, speaking to a crowd of people when someone approached him and threw a drink at him. A scuffle broke out between several males on the dance floor, but it was broken up by the time police reached the area.
The club began to close after the fracas — its closing time is 1 a.m. — and as the crowds exited, a gunshot rang out in the vicinity of Club Ignition’s stairwell entrance. Hundreds of partygoers began to panic, pushing and shoving their way out onto the street or back into the club. Though there were police officers inside and outside of the club, it was not immediately known if the single gunshot had struck anyone inside the club.
However, a short while later officers did locate a victim outside the club, Peoria resident Marshall Payton, who had suffered a small-caliber bullet wound to his left hip. Payton told police he was walking down the staircase inside the club, heading toward the front door, when he heard a “pop” and felt a slight pain. It wasn’t until he got outside the club that he realized he’d been shot.
Payton was taken to OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, where doctors told police that the bullet did not cause any major damage or strike any bones and didn’t need to be removed from Payton’s leg. Police determined Payton had been shot at close range, because of burn marks on his clothing. A shell casing was later recovered from the stairwell of the club.
The incident is still under investigation. A spokesperson for Ja Rule could not be reached for comment.