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Man Charged With Attempted Murder In Shooting Of Rapper Lil Tjay

Mohamed Konate has been charged with attempted murder for a shooting that injured Tione “Lil Tjay” Merritt and friend Antoine Boyd.

By Gina Tron
Lil Tjay at the 2022 iHeartRadio Music Awards

A suspect has been arrested and charged with attempted murder for the shooting of rapper Lil Tjay and one of his friends.

Mohamed Konate, 27, of New York City was arrested and charged with attempted murder, armed robbery and weapons charges in connection with the Wednesday morning shooting of 21-year-old Tione “Lil Tjay” Merritt in Edgewater, New Jersey, the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office announced in a Wednesday press release.

Shots ran out just after midnight on Wednesday and, when police arrived on the scene, they discovered Merritt with “multiple gunshot wounds” and his friend Antoine Boyd suffering from a “single gunshot wound," according to the press release. 

Investigators now say that Konate was attempting to commit an armed robbery against the rapper, Boyd and a third person, Jeffrey Valdez, who was also with Merritt. Merritt and Boyd were transferred to a nearby hospital, where Merritt underwent emergency surgery, TMZ reported.

Konate was charged three counts of first-degree attempted murder, three counts of first-degree armed robbery, second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon, second-degree certain persons not to possess a firearm and fourth-degree aggravated assault. He is currently in custody in New York and his extradition to New Jersey is pending.

Valdez and Boyd, both 24 and from the Bronx, have also been arrested on second degree possession of an unlawful weapon charges. 

Tjay, who was born in the Bronx, started off as a popular SoundCloud rapper before breaking out into the mainstream with the 2019 album "True 2 Myself" from Columbia Records.

"This summer I promise I'm back on my s---," he tweeted in April. "No more 1 song every 5 months [a]nd s--- we done with that we going up [a]nd I'm coming for everything I deserve."

On June 8, he tweeted, “Dis gon be a good summer…” 

It’s not clear if Konate, Boyd or Valdez have lawyers.

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