Around 2:30 A.M. on December 27, 1999, gunfire exploded inside Club New York, a midtown Manhattan nightclub. As ambulances were dispatched to the club to treat wounded patrons, police surrounded a SUV that had raced away through red traffic lights.
When a 9mm pistol was discovered in the car, the passengers were arrested.
They included music executive Sean Combs and his retinue, including film and music star Jennifer Lopez, bodyguard Anthony “Wolf” Jones, and chauffeur Wardell Fenderson. Jamaal “Shyne” Barrow, an aspiring rap singer Combs was grooming for his Bad Boy Records label, was arrested at Club New York.
Fredro Starr details the night of the infamous Club New York shooting
“New York City was cold as a motherf***er…
I think it was on 45th street or 46th street, something like that”
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The incident was traced to an exchange between the arrested men and Matthew “Scar” Allen, who had thrown a wad of cash at Combs as an insult after Allen’s drink was spilled at the crowded bar. The case immediately drew headlines, not because of the three people wounded in the shooting, but because of the celebrity of those arrested. After hours of questioning, however, gun possession and assault charges were filed against Combs, Jones, and Barrow. Combs and Jones were further charged with trying to bribe Fenderson by offering him $50,000 to tell police that the pistol found in the vehicle was his.
Barrow, who faced attempted murder, assault, gun possession, and reckless endangerment charges, was clearly in the most serious trouble with the law.
Date of Trial: January 17-March 16, 2001
Verdict: Combs and Jones: acquitted;
Barrow: acquitted of attempted murder and on one count of assault, guilty of all other charges
Sentence: Barrow: 10 years imprisonment
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