NOVEMBER 12--A cooperating witness has told federal investigators that he shot rap mogul Suge Knight at a 2005 party hosted by Kanye West at a swanky Miami Beach hotel, The Smoking Gun has learned.
The shooting of Knight, founder of L.A.’s Death Row Records, was allegedly ordered by James "Jimmy Henchman" Rosemond, the New York music manager who was sentenced last month to life in prison for heading a cocaine trafficking ring.
Knight was sitting at a VIP table inside the Shore Club hotel when a black male approached and opened fire, hitting him once in the upper right leg. Knight, 48, was rushed to a local hospital where he underwent surgery to remove the bullet and repair a broken bone. Knight is seen above being placed into an ambulance by Miami Beach paramedics.
Following the August 2005 shooting, screaming guests fled the star-studded, late-night party, which was hosted by West in advance of MTV’s Video Music Awards ceremony the following evening. Police told reporters that their investigation was hampered by the unwillingness of witnesses to speak with them.
Now, eight years later, federal investigators have been provided an insider’s account of the shooting of Knight, a central figure in the 1990s East Coast-West Coast rap feud that likely resulted in the murders of Tupac Shakur and Christopher Wallace, the rapper known as The Notorious B.I.G..
A longtime Rosemond associate (and admitted cociane trafficker) has copped to shooting Knight, claiming that he targeted the “rival rap producer…at Rosemond’s behest,” according to investigators. The witness has recently told federal investigators that Rosemond--who attended the West party--provided him with the gun he used to shoot Knight.
Immediately following the shooting, the witness reports, he and Rosemond fled the Shore Club together, adding that Rosemond (seen at left) paid him $10,000 for the shooting (the motive for which is not further detailed by federal officials).
The Rosemond associate is referred to as "CW-3" (confidential witness-3) in the document.
"CW-3" was a member of Rosemond’s narcotics operation for more than a decade, and participated in a series of violent acts directed at associates of the rapper 50 Cent’s G-Unit crew. The rap world beef was prompted by business disputes between G-Unit and Rosemond’s Czar Entertainment.
As part of that turf war, "CW-3" carried out a March 2007 razor attack on the brother of Chris Lighty, 50 Cent’s business partner. In retaliation for the assault of Rosemond’s 14-year-old son, the cooperating witness participated in the September 2009 murder of Lowell Fletcher, a G-Unit associate who had been previously convicted of attacking the teenager. According to a government filing, a cooperating witness reported that Rosemond said he would not rest until “members of G-Unit were ‘carrying a coffin.’”