Troy Ave has taken the stand at Taxstone’s murder trial to recount the moments that led to a fatal shootout at T.I.‘s 2016 concert at Irving Plaza.
According to the New York Post, Troy Ave had his day in court on Monday (March 13), testifying that he shot simply out of fight or flight response after the popular podcaster allegedly shot at him first.
If it’s fight or flight I’m always going to fight because at that point you could die,” Ave reportedly told the Manhattan Supreme Court. “I’d rather die fighting. People die from leg shots. I’d rather die fighting than laying on the ground.”
Describing the situation, he said, “When the shot goes off I see the light from the spark and I hear the shot. This is all happening fast. I get up and start fighting Taxstone, trying to take him, grab the gun, and another shot goes off. I put my leg up to kind of block the shot from hitting me in the face or chest.”
According to Ave, that’s when Tax shot him in both legs.
Troy Ave said he was then able to wrestle the gun out of Tax’s hands – but it then misfired and that’s when he noticed his bodyguard laying face down on the ground.
Ronald “Banga” McPhatter was pronounced dead in the aftermath. Two bystanders were also wounded.
Troy Ave was initially charged with attempted murder and gun possession for his role in the incident. While the Brooklyn-bred rapper was put behind bars at first, his legal team negotiated a one-year sentence — instead of the 15 years he could have faced — in exchange for his testimony at Tax’s trial.
Elsewhere in his testimony, he said there were about 100 people in the greenroom when he heard Tax yell, “What’s popping?” in what he perceived to be a “threatening” way.
Banga turns around to me and says, ‘I’m gonna rock him,’ which means, ‘I’m gonna hit him,’” he testified. “And then I wink at him — I tell him, ‘Do your thing.’”
He alleges that’s when Tax reached for his gun and the melee began.
Taxstone (real name Darryl Campbell) and Troy Ave had a longstanding beef that boiled over when they ran into each other in the green room at Tip’s show, where Ave was set to be an opening act. Tax was charged in January 2017 after police said they found his DNA on the gun used in the shooting.
He faces murder, attempted murder, assault and weapons possession charges.