The Dallas Morning News

2 killed, 8 hurt in stampede at concert


The death toll rose to two on Monday following a stampede at a concert in Rochester, N.Y., that authoritie­s said may have been triggered by unfounded fears of gunfire.

The Memphis rap stars Glorilla and Finesse2ty­mes had finished performing Sunday night at Rochester’s Main Street Armory when people exiting just after 11 p.m. began to surge dangerousl­y, police Chief David M. Smith said at a news briefing Monday.

“We do not have any evidence of gunshots being fired or of anyone being shot or stabbed at the scene,” Smith said.

Police found three badly injured women in the auditorium. One, identified as Rhondesia Belton, 33, of Buffalo, died at a hospital. Police announced the death of a 35-year-old woman late Monday. Her name was not released. Another woman remained in critical condition, police said. Seven people were treated for injuries that were not life-threatenin­g.

“What began last night as a night of live music and fun for the performer Glorilla ended in tragedy,” the chief said.

While there is no evidence of gunfire, Smith said, police are investigat­ing several possible causes of the fatal surge, including “possibly crowd size, shots fired, pepper spray and other contributi­ng factors.”

Mayor Malik Evans called the fatal stampede “totally unacceptab­le” and promised a through investigat­ion into whether venue operators had the necessary safety measures in place for a large crowd.

“We are going to hold people accountabl­e for what happened last night, period,” Evans said, though he cautioned that it was too early in the investigat­ion to assign blame.

There was no immediate response to emails requesting comment sent Monday to the Main Street Armory. The venue’s next scheduled show, a Saturday performanc­e by the rapper A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, has been canceled.

Glorilla, whose 2022 song “F.N.F. (Let’s Go)” with Hitkidd was nominated for a Grammy for best rap performanc­e, tweeted that she was “praying everybody is ok.”

Fatal crowd surges have been a recurring disaster at concerts and other large events around the world, including one at a 2021 Houston concert by rapper Travis Scott in which 10 people died.

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