On Friday Dec. 23, Megan Thee Stallion and Tory Lanez’s shooting trial finally reached a verdict. A jury found the latter, real name Daystar Peterson, guilty of three felony counts: assault with a semiautomatic handgun, carrying a loaded, unregistered firearm in a vehicle, and discharging a firearm with gross negligence, reports The New York Times.
Lanez, who is Canadian, faces more than 20 years in prison and possible deportation.
Megan Thee Stallion’s (legally named Megan Jovon Ruth Pete) and Lanez’s shooting incident has been making headlines ever since it occurred on July 12, 2020. When reports of the shooting first broke, it was unclear what exactly took place, only that Megan was shot in the foot — which the rapper had to confirm with a photo of her gunshot wound. But on Aug. 20, 2020, during an Instagram Live video, Megan alleged that Lanez was the gunman who shot her after claiming that his publicist intentionally tried to spread false information about the shooting, for which she was hospitalized.
Lanez repeatedly denied Megan’s claims over the years, even releasing an album in September 2020 titled “Daystar,” where he told his side of the incident. On his song “Money Over Fallouts,” Lanez rapped, “Megan people tryna frame me for a shootin’ . . . Gotta see a couple questions: How the f*ck you get shot in your foot, don’t hit no bones or tendons? / How the f*ck your team is tryna to paint me as some whole menace?”
Prior to their trial, Pete addressed her shooting on several occasions, the first notable moment (following her Instagram Live video) being her “Saturday Night Live” performance in October 2020, where she advocated for the protection of Black women. Just a couple of days later, Pete penned an op-ed for The New York Times titled “Megan Thee Stallion: Why I Speak Up for Black Women,” where she doubled down on her “protect Black women” stance.
In April 2022, Pete spoke in detail about the shooting for her first television interview since the incident occurred, sitting with Gayle King on “CBS Mornings.” During the interview, Pete recounted details from that summer evening and the events that led up to the shooting, including an argument that she claims began between “the two people in the backseat,” which were presumably Lanez and her friend at the time, Kelsey Nicole.
In the weeks leading up to Lanez and Pete’s trial, the latter called out Drake for seemingly taking a dig at her shooting in his song “Circo Loco” featuring 21 Savage. Read ahead for more on what happened during Pete and Lanez’s trial.
What Happened During Megan Thee Stallion and Tory Lanez’s Shooting Trial?
The trial began on Dec. 12. Lanez’s defense attempted to suggest in court that another shooter could have been to blame for Pete’s injuries. But the “Thot Sh*t” artist identified Lanez in her powerful testimony on Dec. 13.
Pete has been heavily scrutinized since she first spoke out about the shooting and throughout the trial. And that scrutiny has been incredibly damaging: in her testimony, Pete expressed suicidal thoughts, saying, “I wish he would have just shot and killed me, if I knew I would have to go through this torture.”
Pete also addressed the reasons that she didn’t initially tell police officers that she’d been shot — a point that had been called into question time and again. “This was the height of police brutality and George Floyd,” she said, according to Billboard. “I didn’t want to see anybody die. I didn’t want to die.” She added that she was concerned about how coming forward about the shooting would affect her career, as well.
On Dec. 22, a day ahead of the guilty verdict, her boyfriend Pardison “Pardi” Fontaine posted a message about the trial to Instagram Stories, saying, “To any women especially ones of color [who have] suffered an injustice I feel for you . . . When you do find the courage to speak up .. it seems you will be ridiculed .. your credibility will [be] questioned .. your entire past will be held under a magnifying glass.”
The Los Angeles jury deliberated for one day before convicting Lanez. After the jury was dismissed from the courtroom, Lanez’s father called the prosecutors “evil, wicked people,” and was subsequently removed from the courtroom, reports AP. Lanez will be sentenced at a later date; he faces up to 22 years in prison, per AP.
“The jury got it right,” Pete’s attorney Alex Spiro said, according to AP. “I am thankful there is justice for Meg.”
— Additional reporting by Mirel Zaman
Image Source: Getty / Jason Armond / Contributor