Hip-hop mogul shot in Miami Beach
BY AUDRA D.S. BURCH, JACQUELINE CHARLES AND NICOLE WHITE
Hip-hop music executive Marion ''Suge'' Knight was shot early Sunday morning at a hotel in Miami Beach, where partygoers were celebrating MTV's Video Music Awards, according to several witnesses and police.
The shooting took place inside the exclusive Red Room of the Shore Club, 1901 Collins Ave.
Witnesses said Knight was sitting at a table with friends at about 12:30 a.m. when a man wearing a hooded sweatshirt walked up to him and fired at least two shots. The gunman then dashed off to the back of the bar. The crowd went into a panic and started rushing toward the door, said witnesses, who said Knight was whisked out of the hotel in a limousine. Miami Beach Police Officer Bobby Hernandez told the Associated Press that Knight was hospitalized after being shot in the leg, though witnesses said he may have been shot in the chest.
Said witness Sylvia Lu: `I saw a man walk up and start shooting. It sounded like a champagne pop. Then I saw blood in [Knight's] chest area. At the time, he was just kind of chilling. Everyone ran to the front. It was chaos.''
Doug Robinson said the mood inside the club was celebratory, with loud music and everyone having a good time. ''The music was pumping and out of nowhere came the shot,'' he said. ``Suge hit the ground, and everybody was running. It was scary.'' Knight had entered the hotel only 30 minutes before the shooting, cutting a path to a VIP table with an entourage of friends, witnesses said. In a brief interview with the Herald earlier in the evening, Knight had said he loved partying at the VMA because it was so good to see ``everybody's just getting along.''
Knight co-founded the pioneering rap label Death Row Records and hit the charts in the 1990s with West Coast stars including Snoop Dogg and Tupac Shakur. Knight was convicted in 1992 of assault and weapons violations and was placed on probation. In 1996, he was jailed for five years for violating probation after he and several associates, including Shakur, were recorded on videotape beating a gang rival at a Las Vegas hotel. Shakur was later shot to death in Las Vegas.
Relatives of slain rapper Notorious B.I.G. have also accused Knight of involvement in B.I.G.'s death, though police have never named Knight as a suspect. Knight continues to operate his label, now called Tha Row.