Stampede at GloRilla Concert in New York Leaves 2 Dead, Several Injured
A GloRilla concert in Rochester, New York, on Sunday night ended in tragedy when a "stampede" within the crowd left two dead and several others injured. According to a report by Entertainment Tonight, police have identified the deceased but are still compiling details on this horrific accident. They believe that the crowd mistook a loud noise within the venue for gunshots, and the ensuing panic caused all these injuries and deaths.
GloRilla performed at the Main Street Armory in Rochester on Sunday night with fellow rapper Finesse2Tymes. Rochester Police Chief David Smith said that the "stampede" began just after 11 p.m. when loud sounds caused "the crowd to panic." However, he said that there is no evidence that inside the venue fired a gun, nor that anyone was shot or stabbed. He said that all of the injuries reported so far "were caused from being trampled." That includes the deaths of 33-year-old Rhondesia Belton and a 35-year-old woman who has not been named.
I am devastated & heartbroken over the tragic deaths that happened after Sunday’s show. My fans mean the world to me 😢praying for their families & for a speedy recovery of everyone affected 🙏🏽— GloRilla 🦍 (@GloTheofficial) March 7, 2023
Smith's department is still investigating this incident and looking to determine possible contributing factors. He said that they will explore whether the venue was overcrowded or whether its capacity should be reduced. They are still looking for signs of shots fired in or around the venue, and are reportedly following a lead on pepper spray within the crowd adding to the confusion.
Rapper GloRilla posted two tweets about the incident a few hours later, apparently unaware of the deaths and injuries until she got off stage. Just after midnight, she wrote: "I'm just now hearing about what happened wtf... praying everbody is okay," with a string of crying emojis and prayer-hand emojis as well. On Monday night she had apparently been given all the details as she posted another tweet acknowledging the deaths and injuries.
"I am devastated and heartbroken over the tragic deaths that happened after Sunday's show," she wrote. "My fans mean the world to me, praying for their families and for a speedy recovery of everyone affected."
Rochester city officials held a press conference on Monday as well, sharing condolences and what information they could. Spokesperson Barbara Pierce noted that the venue had passed a fire marshal's inspection in December and was "current and compliant with all fire codes." The building had a maximum capacity of 5,000 people, but city officials could not confirm how many were in attendance on Sunday night. The venue has canceled its next upcoming concert, and city officials will meet with the owner this week to "discuss the path forward for the Main Street Armory as an entertainment venue."
"This is a tragedy of epic proportions," said Rochester mayor Malik Evans. "It's something that all of us who love concerts worry about... When you go to a concert you do not expect to be trampled. Your loved ones expect you to be able to come home and talk about the experience you had at that great concert."