The death toll following a concert by the rapper GloRilla has risen to three. Police in Rochester, NY, reported that another critically injured woman died Wednesday night, three days after Sunday night’s deadly crowd stampede.
The third fatality was Aisha Stephens, 35, of Syracuse, the Rochester Police Department’s Lt. Greg Bello told reporters.
Her death followed that of two other women who were caught up in the crush, both of whom died Monday. Those victims were Rhondesia Belton, 33 of Buffalo, and Brandy Miller, 35, of Rochester.
Seven other people had been hospitalized following the melee following GloRilla’s performance at Rochester’s Main Street Armory, but none of those injuries was said at the time to be life-threatening. Authorities have not provided an update on whether any of those concertgoers is still hospitalized.
No definitive causes for the crowd surge have been arrived at by police, although initial reporting from the scene indicated that some exiting patrons believed they heard gunfire and began to panic. Anecdotal reports from some concertgoers indicated that they did not hear any unusual sounds before the surge began.
Finesse2tymes preceded GloRilla on the bill. Neither performer has been blamed for an incident that began to unfold after the concert ended at around 11 p.m.
GloRilla has not posted on social media since the day after the concert. She was last heard from on Monday, after the second victim died, posting a crying emoji and writing: “I am devastated & heartbroken over the tragic deaths that happened after Sunday’s show. My fans mean the world to me. Praying for their families & for a speedy recovery of everyone affected.”
I am devastated & heartbroken over the tragic deaths that happened after Sunday’s show. My fans mean the world to me praying for their families & for a speedy recovery of everyone affected
— GloRilla 🦍 (@GloTheofficial) March 7, 2023
The city of Rochester shut down the venue in the wake of the tragedy. The Main Street Armory is a 1905 multi-story building said to have an official capacity of 5,000 in its main performance space.
According to the Democrat & Chronicle, the local daily newspaper in Rochester, police chief David Smith announced in a Wednesday afternoon news conference that the venue’s entertainment license was not being renewed. Smith said that the Main Street Armory’s owner had been invited to a meeting earlier in the day about voluntarily putting a halt to events, but he declined to attend, further precipitating the city’s action to shut it down.
Smith declined Wednesday to estimate how long it would take to conclude who might bear responsibility for the injuries and deaths, saying: “Lives were lost,. We need to take steps to make sure no lives are lost in the future, if indeed this was something that was preventable.”
The deaths are certain to put an even greater light on the concert industry’s self-assessments as well as regulatory oversight over safe practices for crowd control. The fallout from 11 deaths due to crowd chaos at Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival in 2021 was already destined to be be felt for years to come before the GloRilla concert deaths prompted fresh concerns.