Killer gunman opens fire inside Chelsea club where NFL and NBA players were partying
One dead, two injured at Juliet Supper Club
BY Rocco Parascandola , Joe Kemp , Christie Rotondo & Tina Moore
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Tuesday, November 15 2011, 1:43 PM
Bryan Pace/Bryan Pace for News
A gunman opened fire in the Juliet Supper Club early Tuesday morning, killing one man and injuring two others.
Five New York Giants were partying with other sports bigs and celebs at a Chelsea nightclub early Tuesday when a gunman opened fire, killing an ex-con and injuring two others, police sources said.
The gunman, clad in a white leather jacket, crashed the crowded party at the Juliet Supper Club on W. 21st St. by squeezing off five shots shortly before 2:30 a.m., police said.
Giants receivers Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks, cornerback Aaron Ross, safety Antrel Rolle and tackle Chris Canty were all chilling at the hotspot when the gunman unleashed the deadly shots, the sources said.
None of the gridders were injured — nor were any of the other stars in attendance — and the police sources said none of the boldfaced names appeared to have had anything to do with the violence.
The star-studded guest list included other current NFL and NBA players, the sources say: Branden Albert of the Kansas City Chiefs; John Wall of the Washington Wizards; Kemba Walker of the Charlotte Bobcats; Carlos Boozer of the Chicago Bulls; Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder; and former New York Knick Chris Duhon, who now plays for the Orlando Magic.
Also partying it up were actress Reese Witherspoon’s ex-husband, Ryan Phillippe, and R&B singer Estelle, the sources said.
The fatal shooting inside the club followed a homicide outside of the joint earlier this year.
In Tuesday’s bloodshed, the killer is thought to have fired the shots in a bid to get even after a woman was bumped on the dance floor — but her relationship to the gunman was not clear, the sources said.
Two rounds tore into the flesh of Artis Arthur, 43 — who did nearly six years in prison for criminal sale of a controlled substance, criminal possession of a weapon and attempted robbery, police said. The Brooklynite was hit in the chest and back and died a short time later at Bellevue Hospital Center.
Another ex-con, Tracy Ryals, 28, was shot once in the arm and once in the buttocks. He was in stable condition at the same hospital Tuesday — and refused to cooperate with investigators, the sources said.
A third victim, Jonai Washington, 27, later showed up at Long Island Jewish Medical Center with a gunshot wound to the leg, the sources said.
Some 30 minutes before the gunfire erupted, Washington was having a good time. She tweeted from the handle “sexccladi”: “Juliet is F--ING live!”
But shortly after the shooting, she took to Twitter again, saying she got caught in the crossfire.
Hakeem Nicks’ agent, Peter Schaffer, said his client was not at the club. Cruz’s agent, Jack Huntington, confirmed that Cruz was in the crowd and uninjured.
“He was at the club but not near the incident,” Huntington said. “He’s good.”
The shooting came two months after a Morningside Heights man was stabbed to death as he was chatting up a few ladies outside of the Chelsea hotspot’s doors. Club promoter Manuel (Manny Stax) Pinero, 41, was arrested two days later and charged with the murder of Christopher Adames, 23.
Police had not made an arrest as of early Tuesday night, but the sources said the club’s management was cooperating with the investigation.
“We have turned over all video surveillance and are doing all we can to aide the police with this matter,” club spokeswoman Amanda Mitchell said.
Mitchell said the club instituted new security measures last month, including searches of patrons.
State Liquor Authority spokesman William Crowley said the agency was investigating the club and that its liquor license could be in jeopardy.
Last year, the city Health Department hit the club with nearly $20,000 in fines and ordered it to close for a week for letting patrons puff cigarettes inside.