Drake ‘plagued and pained’ by fatal nightclub shootings

Two people killed and three others critically injured at event following the rapper's OVO Fest

Earlier this month, two people were killed and three others critically injured in a shooting that occurred at an afterparty for Drake‘s OVO Fest in Toronto. Now, for the first time since the incident, the artist himself has publicly offered his condolences to the families of those who lost their lives.

Duvel Hibbert, 23, and Ariela Navarro-Fenoy, 26, were killed when gunfire broke out in and around Toronto nightclub Muzik in the early hours of August 4. A member of the Toronto police force described the incident as “a sporadic shooting”, adding: “What occurred originally in the bar area had spilled out into the streets, so south and north of this area we do have three separate crimes scenes.”

Writing via his October’s Very Own blog, Drake described himself as “plagued and pained” by violence that occurs in his hometown. “The last few days I have been in a moral bind,” wrote the rapper. “I am used to the fact that my life and the things I say to my fans are‎ closely watched. It’s tough in situations like this where there’s a tragedy and I consider the advice of my trusted advisors and counsel who worry that anything I might say could be misinterpreted. However, today I am choosing to follow my heart.

GettyAndy Willsher/NME

“I am plagued and pained by the violence that continues to escalate in our city. I stare into the eyes of so many young people and I wish to see them all shine as bright as they possibly can in this lifetime. I encourage my generation to show as much value and gratitude as you can for the lives we have been gifted.

“My deepest condolences go out to the Navarro-Fenoy and Hibbert families for their loss of Ariela and Duvel. Along with them I send my condolences to all of the families that have lost loved ones to the senseless violence that has and continues to occur in our city.”

This week saw Toronto police chief Mark Saunders issuing a plea for witnesses to make themselves known to police. “Whenever we try to solve homicide cases, it’s not just the law enforcement that makes these outcomes successful,” he said, as reported by The Toronto Sun. “When people do not assist with investigations, what it does is it encourages those who decide to bring firearms to locations to use it … when you don’t talk, it encourages these types of people to carry firearms with them.”

Drizzy has been involved in a high-profile dispute with Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill in recent weeks that has seen the release of a number of diss tracks and onstage insults. But the beef appears to be over after Meek tweeted a lengthy comment earlier this week putting the issue to bed.