An “intoxicated” Tory Lanez allegedly shouted, “Dance, b****!” before shooting at Megan Thee Stallion during a roadside dispute after a July 2020 party at Kylie Jenner’s house, hitting her in the foot, according to a police officer’s testimony at Lanez’s preliminary hearing Tuesday (Dec 14) in his felony assault case in Los Angeles, according to Rolling Stone.
Lanez (real name: Daystar Peterson) is charged with felony assault regarding the July 2020 incident, which took place following a party at Kylie Jenner’s home in the Hollywood Hills.
“(Megan) observed Mr. Peterson holding a firearm and then she observed him start to shoot,” Los Angeles Police detective Ryan Stogner testified Tuesday, basing his account on interviews with Megan (real name: Megan Pete). He said Megan described Peterson as “half in, half out”, on the step board of the vehicle, when he allegedly fired, Stogner said.
“Megan immediately felt pain to her feet, observed blood, fell to the ground, and then crawled to an adjacent driveway of a residence … She described her injuries as bleeding profusely,” he testified.
“Megan stated the defendant apologised for doing it and offered her money and begged her to please not say anything and made a reference to the fact he was already on probation and he begged her not to say anything,” Stogner testified. Megan has made this claim in the past, and a September 2020 report in Complex, citing an unnamed source, made a similar claim about Lanez’s alleged comments at the incident.
Los Angeles Superior Court judge Keith Borjon upheld the assault charges Tuesday against Lanez, who is due back in court on Jan 13 and at one point angrily shouted at Stogner, after he spoke of the rapper calling a friend of Megan’s from jail to apologise. “How about you tell me what I was apologising for, bro? That don’t make no sense,” he shouted before being asked to be quiet by his attorney, Shawn Holley, and Borion.
Lanez is facing two felony charges: assault with a semiautomatic firearm and carrying a loaded, unregistered firearm in a vehicle, along with an additional allegation that he “personally inflicted great bodily injury”. Prosecutors say he is facing up to 22 years and eight months in prison if convicted of the charges; the purpose of Tuesday’s hearing was to determine whether the matter will go to trial. According to the Los Angeles Times, both Lanez and Holley declined to comment outside the courtroom.
While the two offer dramatically differing details about the incident, Lanez has repeatedly denied Megan’s account – in social media posts and even on an hour-long album with extensive lyrics addressing the accusations against him – without directly saying he did not shoot her, beyond indirect statements in lyrics like “I ain’t do it”.
Sources say that two sides were close to reaching a plea deal last month; Lanez’s attorney Shawn Holley declined to comment at a hearing last month but told Rolling Stone that the rapper’s plea of not guilty “stands”.
“As in every case, the lawyers for the parties discuss the possibility of resolving the case. This case is no different. That said, our position as to what did and did not happen in this matter remains unchanged,” she said in a statement.
The incident took place after Megan, Lanez, his bodyguard, and an unidentified woman who is speculated to be Megan’s former close friend Kelsey Nicole had attended a party at Kylie Jenner’s Hollywood home earlier in the evening. The four were pulled over by police after a report of gunfire outside a second residence; a witness described the car they were travelling in. While initial reports said Megan had cut her feet on broken glass inside the car, she later claimed to be the “victim of a shooting”, but without identifying the gunman, whom she later identified in videos posted on social media as Lanez.
Police responded to reports of gunfire outside a different residence and, following a description provided by witnesses, pulled over the vehicle in which Megan, Lanez and the others were traveling. All three were forced by police to lay spread-eagled on the ground; surveillance footage shows Megan limping and leaving bloody footprints as she exits the vehicle. Lanez was arrested for possessing a concealed weapon and released on $35,000 bail.
While initial reports indicated that Megan had been injured by broken glass following an argument, over the following days and weeks, she directly accused Lanez of shooting her in the feet. She also posted photos of her injured feet on Instagram.
“You shot me, and you got your publicist and your people to [talk to] these blogs, lying and s–,” she said in a video. “Stop lying!”
He has disputed her accounts in social media posts and an hour-long album issued in September. At one point on the album, Lanez rapped “How the f– you get shot in your foot, don’t hit no bones or tendons?”
Megan later claimed that Lanez offered her money to keep quiet about the incident. In an interview with GQ published in November 2020, she recalled thinking on the night of the incident, “[At this point] I’m really scared,” Megan says, “because this is like right in the middle of all the protesting. Police are just killing everybody for no reason, and I’m thinking, ‘I can’t believe you even think I want to take some money. Like, you just shot me’.” (A lawyer for Lanez denied to GQ that the rapper offered Megan and her friend money.)
Yet Lanez has remained defiant since the incident, shunned by many in the hip-hop community but embraced by others, including Chris Brown, who was found guilty of assaulting Rihanna in 2009, and DaBaby, who brought Lanez onstage at the Rolling Loud festival in Miami last summer directly after Megan’s set. For that appearance, Lanez was arrested for violating the criminal restraining order barring him from coming within 100 yards of Megan or harassing her; prosecutors claimed that he “attempted to rush the stage” during her set. He later joined DaBaby – who made homophobic comments during the set that later caused him to be cancelled from multiple upcoming concert appearances – onstage wearing a disguise while Megan’s song Cry Baby played. He later removed his disguise and performed with DaBaby. The incident caused a judge to increase his bail amount from US$190,000 to US$250,000. – Reuters