One person has died and three others were shot during a gun battle involving members of rapper T.I.’s crew and unidentified shooters early Wednesday morning. The incident took place on a highway in Cincinnati; a police spokesperson said no information was available regarding the identity of the deceased, who died late Wednesday morning at a local hospital, pending notification of next of kin.
T.I. was not among those injured, and a spokesperson for the rapper could not be reached for comment on the incident.
According to police, witnesses said words were exchanged and a fight broke out at an after-hours party at Cincinnati’s Club Ritz following a show by T.I. and Yung Joc earlier in the evening, which took place at Bogart’s across town.
The fight reportedly moved outside, and police received the first call of shots fired shortly before 3 a.m. Police told local NBC affiliate WLWT that the rolling gun battle began after T.I. left Club Ritz and shots were fired into two vans transporting his entourage as they traveled down the highway. Local media reports said the shots struck three men and a woman, whose identities have not yet been released.
The shooting led to the closing of the southbound lanes of Interstate 75, one of the two main highways leading to and from downtown Cincinnati, during the morning rush hour as police investigated the three-mile-long crime scene. Included among the evidence they were examining was a black van believed to belong to T.I., which was found along I-75 after the incident, as well as a white van that was also found along the highway. Police would not comment on whether the vans were occupied at the time they were found.
The names and condition of the three other victims have not been released, but homicide detectives were dispatched to the scene because the injuries to at least one surviving victim was considered life-threatening. As of late Wednesday morning, two victims had been treated and released and the condition of the third was not available.
Community leaders and police asked the Cincinnati City Council to close down Club Ritz last year after several incidents at the club, but council members voted against it. Two months later, in June 2005, three people were shot in front of the club after a fight spilled outside.