Though detectives have yet to formally question them or Lil' Kim, rap duo Capone-N-Noreaga have broken their silence about a shooting Sunday outside New York radio station Hot 97, denying any involvement.
"Capone-N-Noreaga had nothing to do with the shooting," the rappers said in a joint statement issued on Wednesday (February 28) by their reps at Violator Management. "It's unfortunate that the normally healthy competitive spirit in the music industry has been compromised by people who have nothing to do with the making of records.
"We are cooperating fully with the police," the statement continued, "and hope that whoever is responsible for this will be brought to justice." Capone-N-Noreaga have not yet been formally interviewed by detectives in regard to the shooting, which erupted on Sunday following an altercation between Capone's posse and members of Lil' Kim's entourage and left a man shot in the back (see "Lil' Kim Present At Hot 97 Shootout, Police Say"). As of Wednesday, authorities had not spoken with Lil' Kim either, according to a New York City police spokesperson.
Representatives for Hot 97 have had no comment. Lil' Kim's management reps issued a brief statement on Tuesday, saying, "Lil' Kim and her security had nothing to do whatsoever with the incident at Hot 97." Capone (born Kiam Holley) and Lil' Kim (Kimberly Jones) were at the studio to be interviewed by the radio station's DJ Clue about the respective tracks they contributed to Clue's new album, The Professional 2, released this week.
Detectives told the New York Daily News they believe the shooting was a result of an ongoing dispute between Lil' Kim and Foxy Brown. Brown dissed Kim on "Bang Bang," a track on Capone-N-Noreaga's 2000 album, The Reunion. Efrain Ocasio, 31, was shot in the back, but was released from St. Vincent's Hospital in Manhattan on Monday. Ocasio is affiliated with Capone's crew, the Daily News reported. Considering the number of firearms thought to be involved, the shootout could have been much worse, according to the New York Post, which has reported that five guns were involved and 21 shots were fired.
A security videotape seized by police apparently shows a woman walking with a baby stroller in front of the Hot 97 offices moments before the gunshots began, according to the newspaper.
Detectives at the 6th Precinct, which is handling the case, declined to comment on Wednesday, saying only that the investigation is ongoing. A police spokesperson said no one has been arrested or taken into custody.