Rochester concert stampede claims third victim; venue closed
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — A third person has died after being injured in a stampede after a weekend concert by the rapper GloRilla in western New York, police said Thursday.
Aisha Stephens, 35, of Syracuse was the only person who remained hospitalized following a Sunday evening performance by the Memphis, Tennessee, rap star and Finesse2tymes at the Rochester Main Street Armory. She died Wednesday night.
Two other women, Rhondesia Belton, 33, of Buffalo and Brandy Miller, 35, of Rochester, also died and several people were injured after being caught up in a crush of concertgoers who surged toward the exits after the show.
Police said the stampede may have been triggered by unfounded fears of gunfire.
The city refused to renew the venue’s entertainment license on Wednesday, effectively shutting it down while criminal and regulatory investigations are underway, said Patrick Beath, the city’s deputy corporation counsel. In addition to a police investigation, he said fire and code enforcement authorities are inspecting the building and reviewing photos and video from the concert to determine if there were any violations.
The armory’s owner has not responded to numerous emailed requests for comment.
The main arena in the fortress-like armory has a capacity of about 5,000 people, city officials said.
As the concert ended Sunday, people exiting the venue just after 11 p.m. began to surge dangerously after hearing what they believed to be gunshots, city officials have said. Police found no evidence of gunfire.
Crowd surges at large events have turned deadly before, including one at a 2021 concert by rapper Travis Scott in which 10 people died.
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