NEW YORK Sean "Puffy" Combs had a gun or at least a black object in his right hand as he ran out of Club New York moments after the shootings there, a witness testified Friday morning.
The witness, Tarnisha Smith, conceded that she couldn't say for sure what the black object she saw was.
"At that time, I thought it was a gun," she said.
Smith, the first witness at the trial to suggest Combs had a gun, was also the third witness to say that rapper Jamal "Shyne" Barrow had a gun that night. Smith who said she had met Shyne on several occasions before the incident, and that he had once asked her out testified that she saw a spark fly from his gun as the shootings began.
The day's second witness, Rashane Delvalle, provided the most vivid description yet of the events that led up to the shooting.
"You're not the only one with money, Puff," one of the people who was arguing with Combs' entourage said, before throwing money in Combs' face, according to Delvalle.
Delvalle said he then saw Shyne pull out a chrome gun and fire it, aiming at the person who threw the money. But someone grabbed Shyne's arm as he pulled the trigger, throwing off his aim, according to Delvalle, who couldn't say who that person was.
Jennifer Lopez was "in the middle" of the dispute, said Delvalle.
Prosecutor Matthew Bogdanos showed Delvalle the chrome gun police allegedly found on Shyne as he fled the club. The witness said that he believed it to be the gun he'd seen that night.
Delvalle, who didn't come forward until three months after the shooting, said he finally did so because he thought that his testimony could help Combs. "I didn't feel he was involved the way he was portrayed," Delvalle said.
Delvalle did not see Combs during the shooting, because he was watching Shyne, he testified. He never saw Combs with a gun.
The prosecutor has alleged that the shootings at Club New York, early in the morning on December 27, 1999, began after Combs got into an argument with a man who elbowed him after the rapper knocked over the man's drink while leaving the club. After someone threw a stack of money in Combs' face, Shyne is alleged to have opened fire, wounding three bystanders.
Shyne is on trial for attempted murder, assault, reckless endangerment and weapons possession. (Click HERE for a complete explanation of the charges in the case. For our complete trial coverage, click HERE.)