A third woman has now died after being trampled on Sunday night following GloRilla’s concert at the Main Street Armory in Rochester, New York.
The Rochester Police Department offered the sad update on Thursday, when they announced Aisha Stephens, 35, of Syracuse, New York, had died. “It is with great sadness that the last remaining hospitalized victim … passed away last night. The investigation into the incident continues,” read a news release.
Police had previously identified one woman killed by the stampede of concertgoers as Rhondesia Belton, 33, of Buffalo. The second woman who died was identified as Brandy Miller, 35, of Rochester. David Smith, the Rochester Police chief, said Stephens was the third victim hospitalized at Strong Hospital, where she had been in critical condition.
During a news conference held on Thursday, Smith said the owner of Main Street Armory declined an invitation to meet with the police department’s licensing unit and voluntarily cease holding entertainment events at the venue pending the outcome of its investigation. Smith has since signed an order denying the renewal application effective immediately.
A public notice of this denial has since been posted at the armory, prohibiting Main Street Armory from hosting “any public entertainment, which includes concerts, amplified music, and athletic events or games, including volleyball or cheerleading.”
Just after 11:00 p.m. Sunday, concertgoers were leaving the venue following the show, which featured musicians GloRilla and Finesse2Tymes, when, per Smith, the crowd started to surge and rush toward the exit. There were reports of individuals hearing what they believed to be gunshots inside the venue, “causing the crowd to panic,” he said.
Smith said there was no evidence that anyone fired a gun inside the venue, or that anyone at the venue was shot or stabbed. The injuries, Smith said, “were caused from being trampled.”
The stampede is currently under investigation, with police looking into numerous contributing factors including crowd size, shots fired, and pepper spray.
Following the aftermath of the deadly stampede, ET spoke with Cynquest Anderson, who was in the crowd, about what led to the chaotic event and how the energy was in the venue before, during and after the crowd’s surge.
“After a night of partying, your senses are everywhere,” Anderson described the post-show momentum. “You’re in this state of excitement, wondering what’s next. And then, all of a sudden, everyone is panicking. I don’t know what’s going on, nobody knows which way to run, honestly, like nobody knew which way to go. Everybody just was following each other. So the panic was setting in ASAP. I just knew to try to get to safety as quickly as possible.”
When asked if they knew anyone who got seriously injured in the stampede, Anderson said that they knew of someone who was affected but that their friends and family were unharmed. Describing the incident, Anderson explained, “I did see a few people stumbling. I saw a few people on the floor. I didn’t know the state of anybody’s injuries at the moment. I just was trying to get out of there and none of my friends and family that went there were hurt.”
Anderson noted the police presence on the scene, saying, “The police officer was pushing people this way and that way. By the time I got to the middle of the building, people were all over the place. Laying all over the place, they ended up pushing us away from those people that needed help. So me and the crowd of other people were getting pushed out the door this way, and after that, people were just spilling out into the street on their way to their cars, looking for their loved ones, looking for their belongings. Everybody was trying to just get out of there as quickly as possible.”
Looking back on the concert, Anderson noted that before things went awry, the show was a lot of fun. “I had a ball. Everything was great. This performance was awesome, everybody was just having a good time. You could tell everybody was tuned in,” she said.
When asked about advice for concert safety in the future and the tragedy of this event, Anderson urged everyone to always be aware of their surroundings.
“You walk out the door one day, thinking you’re just going to have a good time, and you don’t make it home to your family. That’s so very unfortunate, and it shouldn’t happen. But things do happen. You just gotta be aware and hope that everyone is safe, you know, especially going to events like this,” she said.
Anderson concluded, “I pray for the families.”
ET has reached out to both GloRilla and Finesse2Tymes’ reps for comment.
GloRilla took to Twitter after finding out about the incident Sunday, tweeting, “I’m just now hearing about what happened wtf 😢😢😢praying everybody is ok 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼.”
Rochester Mayor Malik Evans also spoke out in a press conference Monday, saying the situation both “breaks my heart and is totally unacceptable.”
“This is a tragedy of epic proportions,” Evans continued. “It’s something that all of us who love concerts worry about…When you go to a concert you do not expect to be trampled. Your loved ones expect you to be able to come home and talk about the experience you had at that great concert.”
It was not immediately known how many people attended the concert. City officials did confirm, however, that the building has a maximum capacity of 5,000 people. Per city spokeswoman Barbara Pierce, “the facility is current and compliant with all fire codes,” with the fire marshal’s office most recently completing its annual inspection of the Armory in December.
The Main Street Armory’s next concert was scheduled for Saturday, but has since been canceled. Pierce said that city officials plan to meet with owner Scott Donaldson later this week to “discuss the path forward for the Main Street Armory as an entertainment venue.”
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