CBSMiami (CBSMiami) – Police are investigating leads but have no specific description of the person or people who shot at South Florida based rapper Rick Ross early Monday morning on East Las Olas Boulevard.
Police say Ross and his girlfriend were driving in Ross’s Rolls Royce when someone started shooting at them. Stray rounds shattered windows in the Floridian Restaurant and a nearby nail salon. One also hit a parking meter.
People who live in the adjacent upscale neighborhood heard the gunfire. “I jumped out of bed and ran out and George was in the kitchen and I said did you hear that and he said ya, that sounded like a machine gun or something,” said Carol Touchstone.
“It was rapid fire, 9 or 10 shots, rapid fire, rapid succession,” said George Maznicki, “it was loud enough, not a hand gun, it was a rifle.”
In an effort to escape the hail of lead, the driver swerved the Rolls Royce to right on SE 15th Street, crashed through a fence and his car came to rest against an apartment building. The man and woman both got out of the car and left on foot.
Ft. Lauderdale police say the driver of the car was William Roberts, better known as local rapper Rick Ross. The woman was identified as Shateria Morangne-el. Both Roberts and Moragne-el live in Davie.
Beth Balk, who lives in apartment that car ran into, heard it slam through the fence.
“Apparently someone was chasing them,” Balk told CBS4’s Natalia Zea. “It was like a giant kaboom. It rocked me off the bed and I went to the front door.”
Balk said the man and woman appeared dazed after the crash.
“Very shaken up, very shaken up,” said Balk. “You don’t expect to hit a building or shot at I suppose.”
An employee of the Floridian restaurant, which is open 24 hours, was outside at the time of the shooting and saw the crash.
“Just pop, pop, pop, I didn’t really count. It happened real quick,” said the employee which did not wish to be named in this report. “It was just squealing his tires, I saw him go by- ran right into the building there.”
Even though the shooter or shooters took off many area residents, business owners and customers are wondering if they’ll come back.
“I’ve never seen anything like this happen. Nothing like this. It’s quiet on Las Olas,” said Balk.
Police are reviewing surveillance videos of area businesses to see if that gives them any more clues on this shooting.
Last month Ross canceled two performances in North Carolina after he received gang threats. He spoke out publicly denying it was related to the concert cancellations.
Police have not said if those threats and the Monday morning shooting were related.
At least one rival rapper said the shooting and the crash was a publicity stunt. Rapper 50 Cent sent out a tweet saying, “Hahaha, fat boy hit the building? LOL, it looks staged to me. No hole’s in the car.”
So far, Rick Ross is not speaking out about this shooting and he seems to have frozen his twitter account- even erasing fan comments about the shooting from his page.
Zea spoke with Ross’s longtime attorney who says he can’t comment on this incident but referred to Ross as a “wonderful, benevolent member of the community.”