Eight Stabbed In Brawl At R. Kelly, Nas Concert

Police say one person wielded a knife but victim says there may have been more.

Eight men were stabbed during a brawl at a concert featuring R. Kelly and Nas on

Tuesday night in Miami, police and hospital officials said.

All eight suffered superficial wounds in the attack, which began as a fight in the arena's

seating area during a break between performances and then moved to the arena

concourse, near concession stands, according to police and a Miami Arena official.

At some point during the fight, which by some accounts grew to involve as many as 50

people, an unidentified man attacked people around him with a knife, Detective Willie

Moreno, a Miami police spokesperson, said.

But one of the victims, Tony Cobb, 29, of Miami, who was stabbed in the back, said

Wednesday (June 30) he believed more than one person wielded a knife, since so many

people were hurt.

Cobb, who said he joined the fight to defend a friend who was being

beaten by two men, said he may stay away from such large concerts in the

future. "It'll be a long time before I go to another one, I can tell you

that," he said from his bed at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami.

The incident was the second major disruption at a hip-hop/R&B arena show in the past

week. Police in East Rutherford, N.J., made two arrests June 24 when about 100 people

tried to force their way into a concert at the Continental Airlines Arena that featured Nas

(born Nasir Jones), as well as rappers Puff Daddy (born Sean "Puffy" Combs), Snoop

Dogg (born Calvin Broadus), Jay-Z (born Sean Carter) and DMX (born Earl Simmons).

Two victims remained hospitalized Wednesday afternoon and were in good

condition, according to Lorraine Nelson, a spokesperson for Jackson Memorial Hospital.

She said one man was released Tuesday night and five others were allowed to leave

the hospital Wednesday morning. The victims ranged in age from 18 to 29, she said.

The show, which R&B singer Kelly (born Robert Kelly) headlined, went on as scheduled

despite the stabbings, according to Melissa Fronstin, director of sales and marketing for

the arena. The show also featured rappers Eve and the Ruff Ryders and R&B singer

Kelly Price.

"The vast majority of the audience had no idea anything happened," Fronstin said. The

fight ended within minutes, according to Fronstin and police.

No arrests have been made, though the knife used in the attack has been recovered,

according to Moreno. The detective said it remains unclear why the fight broke out; the

Miami Herald reported that it may have begun after a man approached another

concert-goer's date.

Fronstin said the knife-wielding attacker apparently bypassed Miami Arena's security

precautions, which included searches and the use of handheld metal detectors at the

door. "One person slipped through the system," she said.

Cobb said he and a group of friends arrived about an hour late for the concert and met

up in the concourse with a group of people from their neighborhood. He said his friends

went upstairs into a seating area, leaving him behind near the concession stands.

Two or three minutes later, Cobb said, his friends ran down the stairs with a group of

strangers attacking them. Cobb said he doesn't know how the fight started and many

details of the incidents remained unclear to him. "It all happened so fast," he said.

The knife just missed one of Cobb's kidneys, and he expects to be released from the

hospital within two days, he said.

The Miami show was one of only a few scattered dates remaining on Kelly's arena tour;

most dates were canceled in May. The singer's publicist, Regina Daniels, blamed the

cancellations on a dispute with tour promoters, but representatives of several venues

cited poor ticket sales. The original lineup of the tour also included rapper Foxy Brown

(born Inga Marchand) and R&B singer Deborah Cox.

Kelly's publicist did not return a call for comment on the brawl by press time. Fronstin

said Kelly and his managers were not aware of the stabbings until after the concert.

Kelly, whose most recent album was the two-CD set R. (1998), is best known for

his 1996 hit "I Believe I Can Fly" (RealAudio excerpt), which

appeared on the soundtrack to the movie "Space Jam," as well as raunchy hits such as

"Bump N' Grind," from 1993's 12 Play.