1 dead, 1 injured in drive-by shooting outside French Montana’s tour bus

· March 1, 2013

According to the police French Montana’s tour bus left a show he headlined at the Theatre of Living Arts on South Street late Thursday night, with cars of fans in tow. When the bus pulled over around midnight on Christopher Columbus Boulevard near Race Street, outside the Holiday Inn Express where the group had rooms reserved, police said a crowd formed outside the bus. A car then pulled up and opened fire on the crowd, hitting a 27-year-old man in the abdomen and a 29-year-old man in the shoulder, according to Chief Inspector Scott Small.

Police took the 27-year-old to Hahnemann University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 1:30 a.m. The other victim arrived at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in a private vehicle and was listed in stable condition, police said.

Cops gathered the roughly 25 people who had been on the tour bus at the time of the shooting in the lobby of the Holiday Inn immediately after the shooting. They were eventually taken to the Homicide Unit to be interviewed, Small said.

Police said it does not appear that the rapper or his entourage were targeted in the shooting, and are investigating whether a conflict between groups of fans led to the shooting. Neither of the victims, who remained unidentified early Friday morning, appeared to be with the rapper’s group, police said. The tour bus did not appear to be struck by gunfire after a preliminary investigation, Small said.

Small said three men, all of whom had loaded handguns on them, were taken into custody after the shooting. All claimed to have valid permits to carry, but remained in police custody early Friday as cops investigated the homicide. One man may have returned fire at the shooter in the car, police said.

Cops found at least seven shell casings near the tour bus in the northbound lanes of Christopher Columbus Boulevard.

Small said a Honda Accord found unattended parked at 10th and Locust Streets near Jefferson Hospital’s emergency room was riddled with bullet holes and being held for fingerprints. Police believe that car took the surviving victim to the hospital. The Accord did not have license plates attached early this morning. But it bore a license plate holder that read: “Bronx Honda.”

Investigators said they found narcotics stuffed into chair cushions in the lobby of the Holiday Inn where witnesses were held after they were taken to the Homicide Unit.

According to his online biography and a preliminary interview he gave to investigators, French Montana is the CEO of Cocaine City Records in New York City. The 28-year-old Moroccan-born rapper hit Philadelphia as part of his “Excuse My French Tour” to promote his debut album, which drops in May, his website says.

The rapper, who earlier Thursday tweeted a shout-out at Meek Mill – the Philadelphia-born rapper infamous for his court appearances in the city – didn’t appear to be fazed by the violence that erupted outside his tour bus. Shortly after the shooting, he tweeted an Instagram photo of a police officer interviewing a man in the Holiday Inn lobby with the caption, “nobody got time for this Sh*t” (see screenshot above).

The shooting and homicide remained under investigation around 4 a.m. Friday.

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