Third person dies after crowd crush at Rochester, New York, concert hall

(CNN) A third person died following the fatal crushing of spectators at an event venue in Rochester, New York, on Sunday night, according to a police news release obtained by CNN affiliate WHAM.

The victim, identified as 35-year-old Aisha Stephens, was “the last remaining hospitalized victim” of the incident, the statement said, adding: “The investigation into the incident is continuing.”

Officers first responded to a report of shots fired around 11:05 p.m. inside the Main Street Armory, which was hosting a GloRilla concert, police said earlier. Inside, officers found injured people but no evidence of a shooting.

“The injuries appear to be the result of a large crowd heading for the exits following accounts of individuals hearing what they believed to be gunfire,” Lt. Rochester.

In addition to Stephens, Brandy Miller, 35, and Rhondesia Belton, 33, were also killed, by police. At least seven other people were injured.

One spectator, Atiya Holley, told CNN she was leaving the venue with her sister when she heard what sounded like muffled gunfire outside.

“It looked like they were shooting outside, so everyone started coming in,” Holley said. “Then when everyone tried to get out again, it got crazy.”

Investigators are now working with firefighters to help determine the number of spectators out of the venue’s maximum of 5,000 people ability. The investigation is in its early stages and police are asking anyone with video of what happened, Rochester Police Chief David Smith said.

The venue is not permitted to host events while the investigation is ongoing, officials said Wednesday, after its owner failed to attend a meeting with police and the head of the city’s legal department about the pending renewal of the venue’s entertainment license.

The site had previously committed two violations of city code: one involving an unapproved business operation at the rear of the property where activity ceased and an unapproved “housing unit” which the city does not could not prove it was busy, the city said in a statement.

The tragedy follows a series of deadly crowd waves at entertainment events. In 2021, eight people died at the Astroworld music festival in Houston. Last fall, 158 people were killed in a crush of people during Halloween festivities in a nightlife area of ​​Seoul, South Korea.

CNN’s Dakin Andone, Sara Smart, Caroll Alvarado, Brynn Gingras and Holly Yan contributed to this report.

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