French Montana has spoken out about a shooting incident that occurred in his presence on Thursday (January 5), when it was reported that 10 people were shot during a music video shoot in Miami.
As reported by WSVN 7, the rapper was filming in the parking lot of a restaurant called The Licking (which is located in the Miami Gardens strip mall) when gunfire broke out and injured 10 people, including New Orleans rapper Rob49. Four victims were reportedly airlifted to the Ryder Trauma Center, while two others were taken to an area hospital by ambulance, and four more made it to hospitals on their own.
The shooting reportedly took place soon before 8pm on Thursday, with a 9/11 dispatcher quoted as saying that there were “two people on the ground and one in a black Rolls-Royce”. According to Diana Gourgue – a detective for the Miami Gardens Police Department – the shooting started in another location before moving to The Licking. “If anybody was in the area when this incident occurred,” she said, “we would like to hear from you.”
Responding to the news on Friday (January 6), Montana said in a tweet that he was “celebrating the release of [his ‘Coke Boys 6’ mixtape with] friends at a local restaurant” when the shooting went down. “We unfortunately were at the wrong place, at the wrong time when an incident took place that left people hurt. Our thoughts [and] prayers are [with] the victims [and] families at this time,” he added.
Montana did not acknowledge that it had been reported that he’d been filming a music video at the time. In a statement issued by MGPD chief Delma Noel-Pratt, it was said that the rapper had not been authorised to shoot outside The Licking: “Investigations so far have revealed that the necessary permits were not obtained by the organisers of the music video production.”
“The City’s policy requires a permit application and the appropriate law enforcement detail to be secured for these types of activities. As a result of this disregard of the procedures, the unauthorised music video production led to an unfortunate situation.”
Last night, I was in Miami celebrating the release of my CB6 mixtape w/ friends at a local restaurant. We unfortunately were at the wrong place, at the wrong time when an incident took place that left people hurt. Our thoughts & prayers are w/ the victims & families at this time
— French Montana (@FrencHMonTanA) January 6, 2023
Speaking to WSVN 7, a witness named Wilmark Baez – who was reportedly shooting his own video at the time – said: “There were three bodies on the floor laid out, and there were two other people walking around shot.”
Another witness, Ced Mogul, said he came in contact with a member of the crowd (which had gathered to watch Montana shoot his video) who had been robbed on the night. “[He asked to] call his mother and see if we can get spare car keys and make sure, you know, he’s OK, and then the gunshots went off,” Mogul said. “At least 13, 14, 15 gunshots. It was very rapid, it sounded like an assault rifle.
“I took off running, and I was looking back, but I was like, you know what? Let me just duck first, and then people started asking me, you know, ‘Can you help me?’ When I realized people were asking for help, there was nothing you could do about it when you got shot.”
A third witness, Kayla Sanchez, told the station that her boyfriend had rented Montana his Chevy Classic for use in the video being filmed. “They started over [on 22nd Avenue], but the lighting wasn’t good, so they moved over here, but originally it was across the street,” she said. “They said it was quiet and a good time and out of nowhere, all of a sudden 10 shots back to back.”
Sanchez went on to say that her dog Chola, a bulldog, went missing amid the shooting, and that police had confiscated the car to be dusted for fingerprints. “From what we understand, [Chola] jumped in somebody’s car, and when they got to 22nd Avenue, she jumped out,” she said. “We’re worried about the dog and getting our car back.”