Main Street Armory releases statement about stampede that killed three

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The Rochester Main Street Armory has released a statement for the first time since the stampede at a concert on March 5 that left three people dead.

The statement begins by saying that the owner of the Armory, Scott Donaldson, is devastated by the deaths of three people from injuries they suffered at the venue. The statement goes on to say the city’s claim that Donaldson failed to appear at a meeting requested by the city is “inaccurate”.

Here is the full statement that the law office Gallo & Iacovangelo released on behalf of the Armory:

The Main Street Armory, Scott Donaldson, and his team are devastated by the events that occurred on March 5, 2023. Our deepest condolences go out to the families, friends and loved ones of Rhondesia Belton, Brandy Miller and Aisha Stephens. Over the years, the Armory has successfully hosted hundreds of events. The Armory is confident that when the investigation concludes it will be determined that the Armory complied with all applicable codes, regulations, and laws, as it has in the past. The City took unilateral action in denying the Armory’s renewal for an entertainment license and inaccurately stated that Scott Donaldson simply “failed” to appear at a meeting requested by the City to be held on March 8, 2023. Mr. Donaldson’s attorney contacted the City on March 7, 2023, and requested that the meeting be adjourned until later in the week, or early the following week as he was engaged in another legal matter. The City summarily dismissed this reasonable request and decided to deny the renewal of the entertainment license, a license that the Armory possessed for years. Mr. Donaldson, on behalf of the Armory, cooperated fully with the City on the date of the incident, and continues to do so by consenting to the City’s request to inspect the premises which is scheduled to occur on a date chosen by the City. The thought of hosting another concert at the Armory while the families, friends and loved ones of these women grieve remains the furthest thing from Mr. Donaldson’s mind. Again, the Armory and its team’s thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and all members of the community impacted by Sunday’s events.

Rochester Police Chief David Smith announced on Wednesday that he denied the renewal of the Armory’s license to host events. Smith said the license was denied after the owner of the Armory didn’t show up to a scheduled meeting with him and a city attorney that day.