Rapper Lil Tjay shot in New Jersey shopping center during attempted robbery

New York rapper Lil Tjay was shot at a New Jersey shopping center early Wednesday in an attempted robbery, authorities said. Three suspects have been arrested.

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After a 911 call, police officers responded to the Promenade in Edgewater at around 12:08 a.m. EDT, WABC-TV reported. At the scene, authorities discovered the rapper, whose real name is Tione Jayden Merritt, along with Jeffrey Valdez, 24, and Antoine Boyd, 22, both from the Bronx, New York, the Bergen Record reported.

Merritt, 21, was struck multiple times, the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office told the newspaper. His condition was unknown. Boyd was also injured, prosecutors said. Valdez suffered injuries that were not believed to be life-threatening, WABC reported.

Prosecutors announced in a news release that Mohamad Konate, 27, of New York City, was arrested by detectives from the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office and the New York City Police Department.

Konate was charged with three counts of first-degree attempted murder, one count of second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, one count of second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon, one count of second-degree certain persons not to possess a firearm and one count of fourth-degree aggravated assault.

Valdez and Boyd were also arrested, the Record reported. They each were charged with second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon, prosecutors said in their news release. Both were held in the Bergen County Jail.

TMZ was the first outlet to report the shooting.

Merritt, rapping as Lil Tjay, has 7 million followers on Instagram and has released two studio albums through Columbia Records, the Record reported. Both albums charted in the top five on the Billboard 200. His song with singer 6lack, “Calling My Phone,” debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 rap charts and reached No. 1 in February 2021. He has had three other songs hit the top 10, according to Billboard.

Merritt posted an Instagram story on Tuesday night that said, “Just because you’ve been around a person doesn’t make you entitled to the fruits of that person’s labor. Envy Is At An All-Time High Be Safe Otchea.”

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