Rapper Lil TJay Shot Multiple Times in New Jersey, Suspect Arrested

Authorities in New Jersey arrested three people early on Wednesday in connection to an attempted armed robbery that left two people wounded, including Bronx-born rapper Lil TJay.

The 21-year-old rapper, whose legal name is Tione Jayden Merritt, was shot multiple times at a Chipotle Restaurant in Edgewater, New Jersey, the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office said in a news release.

A second individual, identified as 22-year-old Antoine Boyd, was found with a single gunshot wound about a mile from Merritt’s location. Both victims were transported to a local hospital for treatment, but officials haven’t immediately disclosed their conditions publicly.

According to TMZ, citing a law enforcement source, Merritt has undergone surgery and is doing better. Boyd was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries and is in good condition.

Bergen County prosecutor Mark Musella confirmed that Mohamed Konate, 27, of New York, was arrested on “attempted murder, armed robbery and weapon charges.”

According to a joint investigation conducted by the prosecutor’s office major crimes unit and the Edgewater Police Department, Konate “attempted to commit armed robbery” against Merritt, Boyd, and Jeffrey Valdez, 24, when the shooting occurred.

Valdez and Boyd were together with the rapper at the time of the incident. They have also been arrested for second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon.

The three individuals were remanded to the Bergen County Jail pending a first court appearance in Central Judicial Processing Court in Hackensack, according to the news release.

Lil TJay rose to fame in 2018 with his song “Resume,” and signed to Columbia Records later that year.

NTD Photo
Lil TJay performs onstage during the Power 105.1’S Powerhouse 2019 presented by AT&T at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., on Oct. 26, 2019. (Brad Barket/Getty Images for 105.1)

At the young age of 15, the rapper was arrested for a robbery he committed and was sentenced to one year in a youth detention center. While detained, he began to write songs including “Resume.”

His performer name is derived from the first letter of his first name and the first three letters of his middle name.

After news broke of the incident, several fellow artists offered prayers for the wounded singer.

“Pray for my lil bro Lil TJay,” hip-hop star French Montana wrote on Twitter.