New York rapper Lil Tjay was shot right after midnight on Wednesday 22nd May 2022. Initial reports stated that two shootings happened near the City Place Shopping Center in Edgewater: the first shooting involving the rapper at a Chipotle restaurant; the second shooting involving Lil Tjay’s friend, Antoine Boyd, happened at a nearby Exxon Gas station.

Antoine Boyd suffered non-life-threatening injuries, but Lil Tjay was in critical condition, necessitating immediate surgery. The rap community held its breath as limited news filtered in about the beloved rapper’s condition. 

Fortunately, it seems like Lil Tjay will survive the shooting. 

Lil Tjay was shot multiple times and has improved after undergoing surgery

Authorities revealed that Lil Tjay suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery. 

An update by TMZ revealed that the rapper was out of surgery and doing better but was still not out of the woods. A further update by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office stated that Lil Tjay had been upgraded from critical to stable. 

The reports suggest that Lil Tjay will survive the shooting. We are praying for his quick recovery. 

Police said the shooting happened during an armed robbery but are investigating a personal motive

The suspect in the shooting, Mohamed Konate, was allegedly trying to rob Lil Tjay and his friends Jerry Valdez and Antoine Boyd when the shooting occurred. 

Police have arrested Konate and charged him with three counts of first-degree armed robbery, first-degree attempted murder, and several weapons-related charges. Boyd and Valdez were also arrested and charged with unlawful weapon possession. 

A tweet by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office suggests that police are investigating a personal motive for the shooting. The tweet indicates that Lil Tjay was targeted:

“Update on #BCPONJ & @EdgewaterPolice investigation in Edgewater NJ shooting: per initial investigation, does not appear to be [a] random act.”

An Instagram Story update by Lil Tjay hours before the shooting has fueled speculation that someone familiar to the rapper set him up. Lil Tjay – real name Tione Jayden Merritt – wrote:

“PSA: Just because you’ve been around a person doesn’t make you entitled to the fruits of that person’s labor. Envy Is At An All Time High. Be Safe Outchea.”

Rapper French Montana said that rappers often don’t know who to trust

Since the 1980s, the rap community has lost dozens of its stars due to gun violence. Rappers like Tupac, The Notorious B.IG., Big L and Freaky Tah succumbed to bullet wounds in the late 90s. 

More recently, we’ve lost, among many others, Nipsey Hussle, Pop Smoke, and Young Dolph. Therefore, we expected that rappers would react to Lil Tjay’s shooting. Rapper Casanova wrote on Instagram:

“Ni**a you know better!!! Praying for you from my jail cell lil bro… You gonna be alright – tough times don’t last, only tough people do. And you a bad mother fka!! When you get out, stop by the crib and pick that bullet proof up!!”

French Montana addressed the shooting in an interview with TMZ. He said he hadn’t spoken with Lil Tjay but was praying for and thinking about him. 

“It’s hard out here for rappers,” French said. “We got the hardest job.” French said victims rarely know who’s targeting them as most threats come from their inner circles. He explained:

“We think that everybody loves us, but everybody doesn’t love us. I experienced that myself, because the person that shot me is the one who drove me to the hospital. So your greatest threat always comes from the inside.”