Lil Tjay has emergency surgery after being shot multiple times
Edgewater, New Jersey - Up-and-coming New York rapper Lil Tjay underwent emergency surgery early Wednesday morning after being shot in an attempted robbery.
Tjay, whose real name is Tione Jayden Merritt, and two friends were at the City Place in Edgewater, New Jersey, when a man opened fire on them, per the Bergen Record.
The scene turned into a shootout, as the 21-year-old musician's companions – Antoine Boyd and Jeffrey Valdez – were also carrying weapons at the time. Tjay was reportedly hit multiple times, while Antoine Boyd was also injured.
Police arrested the attacker, identified as 27-year-old Mohamed Konate. Bergen County prosecutors have charged him with attempted murder and armed robbery. According to TMZ, Valdez and Boyd were also booked for unlawful possession of a weapon.
Meanwhile, a source told TMZ that Tjay is "doing better" after his operation.
The rise and rise of Lil Tjay
Lil Tjay enjoyed a meteoric rise, from being held in a youth detention center at 15 to signing with Columbia Records and having his second album debuting at number five on the Billboard 200 last year.
The young star, who takes inspiration from Justin Bieber, Usher, and even "the Disney kids," had only recently released a new single and was getting ready for a busy summer of touring when Wednesday's tragedy struck.
In the wake of the shooting, an Instagram story posted by Tjay the day before reads very differently: "Just because you've been around a person doesn't make you entitled to the fruits of that persons labor. Envy Is At An All Time High Be Safe Otchea."
Cover photo: Rich Fury / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP