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Shooting victim at party featuring rapper ‘Diddy’ recalls chaos

By Elisabeth Arriero
earriero@charlotteobserver.com

One of the victims of an early Sunday shooting at a CIAA tournament afterparty in Charlotte said Monday that the hotel ballroom quickly became a scene of chaos after shots rang out.

“We heard gunshots and as I was turning around, I fell down,” 33-year-old Michelle Hardy said while recovering from her wound in Virginia Beach. “Everybody scattered everywhere. Everything happened so fast. I heard my cousin screaming my name. I was just praying that nobody trampled over me.”

Hardy and Miguel Antonio King, 35, of Las Vegas, both suffered gunshot wounds to their legs about 2 a.m. during a party at the Sheraton Hotel that featured rapper Sean “Diddy” Combs, according to police reports.

The shooting marked the CIAA tournament’s first highly publicized violent incident. The tournament has been held in uptown Charlotte for the past nine years.Police had not announced any arrests in connection with the shootings by late Monday. The investigation is ongoing.

About 1:30 a.m., Hardy and one of her cousins went to the bathroom. When they returned, they couldn’t find a third cousin. They began walking around the ballroom and were soon invited into a VIP section.

Hardy said it was crowded and becoming increasingly noisy as the night wore on.

“There was just too much going on, and I didn’t think we should be there anymore. So I grabbed my cousin to tell her we should go, and that’s when we heard two gunshots,” she said.

Hardy fell down but didn’t immediately realize she had been shot. The cousins, like the thousands of other attendees, bolted for the door.

It wasn’t until later that they connected with the paramedics. Hardy was taken to Carolinas Medical Center for treatment that included stitches and pain medicine.

King could note be reached Monday.

Less than a day after the Charlotte shooting, another concert featuring rapper Sean “Diddy” Combs ended in gunfire. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that DeKalb, Ga., police had charged a DJ with aggravated assault after a shootout with officers early Monday outside a popular nightclub.

Ronald Robinson, 39, was injured in the shootout and is in stable condition. Robinson was charged with two counts of aggravated assault against a law enforcement officer, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Arriero: 704-358-5945; Twitter: @earriero
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