SHYNE ACCUSED OF HOLDING SMOKING GUN

But neither says that they actually saw Shyne fire the fateful shots that wounded three...

Immediately after he was shot in a MANHATTAN nightclub, ROBERT THOMPSON looked up to see rapper JAMAL ‘SHYNE’ BARROW standing holding a smoking gun, THOMPSON claimed yesterday (February 1).

On day four of the trial of Puff Daddy, Shyne and Puffy bodyguard Anthony Jones, Thompson, one of three victims of the Club New York shooting, took to the stand explaining how he fell to the floor after being shot in the shoulder.

However, under cross-examination from Shyne’s lawyer, Murray Richman, Thompson admitted that though he saw Shyne hold the weapon, he still couldn’t say for certain who had fired the shot.

Lacking some of the fireworks of previous days – there have already been calls for a mistrial and the raising of the possibility that it was Puffy, not Shyne, who fired the gun that wounded three – an earlier witness positively identified Shyne as the shooter.

John Hassan Mahamah, a security guard at the club, told the court he saw Shyne fire a gun once into a wall and twice into a group of people in the early hours of December 27, 1999. He added that he then saw bodyguard Jones grab Shyne to try and stop him firing. Jones is said to have yelled, “What is wrong with you?” at Shyne. However, Mahamah also capitulated under cross-examination, admitting he had told police investigating the incident he was unable to see the gunman’s face. More importantly for Puffy, Mahamah added under cross-examination from Ben Brafman, Puffy’s co-counsel, that he had told insurance investigators he had seen Puffy embracing Jennifer Lopez at the moment Shyne allegedly fired.

Prosecutor Matthew Bogdanos is alleging that Puffy shot a gun at the same time as Shyne. Richman has been using the allegation to suggest it was Puffy, rather than his client, who wounded the three people.

Hip hop impresario Russell Simmons, the Def Jam co-founder, showed up in court yesterday to lend his support.

“I’ve never seen [Combs] with a gun in my life,” he said outside the Supreme Court. “It’s a crazy idea that he’d be caught with a gun.”