The 22-year-old rapper best known for his stellar 2019 album True 2 Myself, Lil Tjay, was arrested earlier this week while shooting an Instagram live stream. The incident reportedly occurred in New York City, where the rapper was filming a clip for an upcoming music video.
The rapper, whose real name is Tione Jayden Merritt, was reportedly approached by police officers at the filming location and arrested on suspicion of reckless endangerment. In a statement to TMZ, Tjay’s lawyer Dawn Florio said the arrest was unrelated to gun possession.
At first, the reason for the arrest was unclear, but TMZ later confirmed the officers took Tjay in because he appeared to have been brandishing a firearm while standing through the sunroof of a moving vehicle.
It was also reported that the officers seized the “weapon,” which turned out to be a replica prop. Alas, the rapper was still charged with criminal possession of a weapon for using the threatening replica.
While being arrested, Tjay was live streaming on Instagram, meaning his followers caught a glimpse of the action. His fans allegedly told him to “stop resisting” for his own good. According to Florio, the rapper was also charged with obstructing governmental administration after refusing to put his hands behind his back.
Last summer, Tjay was shot seven times on June 22nd at a New Jersey shopping centre during an armed robbery incident. Fortunately, the rapper survived after undergoing emergency surgery.
“I’m just checking in with y’all. I just want to say thank you for the love, thanks for the support,” he said in a statement to his fans on social media following the incident. “Seven shots, it was tough… Most people don’t survive it, but I’m here, here for a reason. New music coming soon, we’re going to come back stronger than ever.”
Law enforcement authorities, including the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office and the New York City Police Department, apprehended the 27-year-old suspect Mohamed Konate. Following the arrest, Konate faced several serious charges, including three counts of first-degree attempted murder, three counts of first-degree armed robbery, and multiple offences related to weapons possession.
Tjay detailed the death-defying incident in his track ‘Beat the Odds’. The music video seen below includes real footage of the rapper’s recovery in hospital.
Lil Tjay has been arrested once again for having a firearm. pic.twitter.com/A049ofAopT— Rap Alert (@rapalert6) June 6, 2023