February 23, 2024



CNN
 — 

A third person has died as a result of the deadly crush of concertgoers at a Rochester, New York, event venue Sunday night, according to a news release from police obtained by CNN affiliate WHAM.

The victim, identified as 35-year-old Aisha Stephens, was “the last remaining hospitalized victim” from the incident, the statement said, adding, “The investigation into the incident continues.”

Officers initially responded to a report of shots fired around 11:05 p.m. inside the Main Street Armory, which was hosting a GloRilla concert, police said previously. Inside, officers found injured people but no evidence of a shooting.

“The injuries appear to be as a result of a large crowd pushing towards the exits following accounts of individuals hearing what they believed to be gunshots,” Rochester police Lt. Nicholas Adams said previously.

In addition to Stephens, Brandy Miller, 35, and Rhondesia Belton, 33, were also killed, per police. At least seven others were injured.

One concertgoer, Atiya Holley, told CNN she was leaving the venue with her sister when she heard what sounded like muffled gunshots outside.

“It sounded like they were shooting outside, so everyone started running back in,” Holley said. “Then when everyone tried to exit again, it got crazy.”

Investigators now are working with fire marshals to help determine the number of concertgoers in relation to the venue’s 5,000-person maximum capacity. The investigation is in its early stages, and police are asking anyone with video of what happened to come forward, Rochester Police Chief David Smith has said.

The venue is barred from hosting events while the investigation is underway, officials said Wednesday, after its owner failed to attend a meeting with police and the head of the city’s law department about the pending renewal of the venue’s entertainment license.

The venue had two previous city code violations: one involving an unapproved business operation at the rear of the property where activity has ceased and an unapproved “dwelling unit” that the city could not prove was occupied, the city said in a statement.

The tragedy follows a series of deadly crowd surges at entertainment events. In 2021, eight people died at the Astroworld music festival in Houston. Last fall, 158 people were killed in a crush of people during Halloween festivities in a nightlife district of Seoul, South Korea.

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