UPDATE (1/13/2022): Tory Lanez’s lawyer entered a new “not guilty” plea for the rapper at his second arraignment Thursday in his felony assault case alleging he shot Megan Thee Stallion in her feet during a drunken dispute in July 2020.
Lawyer Shawn Holley appeared by phone on the rapper’s behalf and entered the updated plea after a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge decided at a preliminary hearing last month that prosecutors had enough evidence to warrant a jury trial. The case is due back in court for a pre-trial conference on Feb. 23.
Originally published 12/14/2021
An “intoxicated” Tory Lanez allegedly shouted, “Dance, bitch!” before shooting at the feet of Megan Thee Stallion during a roadside dispute following a pool party at Kylie Jenner’s house last year, according to vivid testimony Tuesday in the rapper’s felony assault case in Los Angeles.
Megan recounted the exchange to LAPD Detective Ryan Stogner after the Alone at Prom rapper, born Daystar Peterson, allegedly pointed a semiautomatic 9mm handgun at her and opened fire in the Hollywood Hills on July 12, 2020, Stogner testified.
The detective said he was assigned to the case two days after the shooting and interviewed the “Savage” singer, born Megan Pete, over the phone on July 16, 2020 and then again on Nov. 12, 2020.
“As she exited the vehicle, she heard Mr. Peterson yelling obscenities at her, and he stated, ‘Dance, bitch!’ And he then began firing a weapon at her,” Stogner said.
“(Megan) observed Mr. Peterson holding a firearm, and then she observed him start to shoot,” Stogner said. “Megan immediately felt pain to her feet, observed blood, fell to the ground, and then crawled to an adjacent driveway of a residence…She described her injuries as bleeding profusely.”
Stogner’s testimony convinced Judge Keith Borjón that Peterson should stand trial on felony charges that he used a concealed semiautomatic firearm to shoot and wound Pete. But before the judge’s ruling, Peterson’s high-powered lawyer Shawn Holley gave her first courtroom peek at his on-the-record defense.
Holley grilled Stogner over his interviews with Pete and pieced together an alternate narrative alleging Pete became involved in some type of physical altercation with Kelsey Harris, her friend and former assistant, inside the black Cadillac Escalade leading up to the shooting. Holley suggested Harris became jealous after Peterson claimed in the car that he and Pete had slept together.
“Did (Pete) tell you at some point that the argument in the car escalated when Tory revealed to Kelsey that he was in an intimate relationship with Megan?” Holley asked.
“I’m not aware of that,” Stogner replied.
“Do you remember her saying that Tory bringing that up created, in her words, ‘drama,’ because Megan knew Kelsey had a romantic interest in Tory?” Holley pressed the detective.
“There was a reference that Megan was aware that Kelsey had some affection for the defendant,” Stogner said.
“And do you remember Megan saying to you in your videotaped interview that Kelsey said (in the car) that this wasn’t the first time that Megan had ‘back-doored’ her with a guy?” Holley asked.
“Yes,” Stogner said. The detective also testified that Megan stated during their interviews that “she and Kelsey were arguing.”
Holley then claimed Peterson told police in an interview captured on bodycam footage that “I was just trying to protect my girl.”
“I was just trying to help my girlfriend,” Holley quoted Peterson as saying. “I was just trying to help my shortie.”
Stogner said he didn’t recall those statements.
Holley further suggested Harris may have had possession of the gun that shot Pete at some point because investigators found gunshot residue on her hand. Stogner later said under questioning by Deputy District Attorney Kathy Ta that gunshot residue can be transferred to someone’s hands by being “in the vicinity” of a gun that’s fired.
Peterson was quiet through most the nearly 90-minute hearing but had a momentary outburst when Ta asked Stogner about the jail call the rapper made to Harris while she was with Pete at the hospital after the shooting.
“On the phone call between the defendant at Kelsey, at any point did Kelsey make any statement about having assaulted or shooting Megan?” Ta asked.
“No,” Stogner replied. Ta then asked if it was actually Peterson who was “apologizing” during the call. Stogner answered in the affirmative.
“You tell me what I was apologizing for. That doesn’t make no sense,” Peterson blurted out, raising his arms in frustration. Holley placed her hand on his shoulder and urged him to stop speaking.
Earlier in his testimony, Stogner said that according to Pete, moments after she was shot, Peterson and Kelsey rushed to her side, with Peterson apologizing profusely.
“Megan stated the defendant apologized for doing it and offered her money and begged her to please not say anything and made a reference to the fact he was already on probation and he begged her not to say anything,” Stogner said.
Holley later got Stogner to confirm that Pete said during her interviews that “everyone had a lot to drink,” including her. Holley also asked Stogner if he found any evidence that Peterson was on probation. Stogner said he couldn’t.
Peterson was taken into custody by officers who responded to a “shots fired” call near the 1800 block of Nichols Canyon Road the morning of the alleged shooting. Booked on suspicion of possessing a concealed firearm in a vehicle, he was released hours later after posting his $35,000 bail.
“Tory shot me. You shot me, and you got your publicist and your people going to these blogs, lying and shit,” she said in the video posted Aug. 20, 2020. “Stop lying. Why lie? I don’t understand. I tried to keep the situation off the internet, but you’re dragging it.”
She said, “Even though he shot me, I tried to spare him. And ya’ll motherfuckers is not sparing me. That’s crazy.”
Peterson, 29, was formally charged on Oct. 8, 2020, with one count of assaulting the Houston-bred performer with a semiautomatic firearm in a manner that “personally inflicted great bodily injury,” and one count of carrying a concealed, loaded, and unregistered firearm in a vehicle. A protective order barred him from contacting Pete either in person or otherwise.
The “SKAT” rapper pleaded not guilty on Nov. 18, 2020, and was allowed to remain free on $190,000 bail. He’s facing a maximum sentence of 22 years and eight months in prison if convicted as charged.
Peterson got in trouble again over the summer for violating the stay-away order that prohibited him from coming within 100 yards of Pete or harassing her in any way. Prosecutors said he attended the Rolling Loud Festival in Miami on July 25 and “attempted to rush the stage” while Pete was performing. Disguised in a costume, he also hopped onstage with DaBaby while Pete was still in the venue and her song “Cry Baby” was playing, prosecutors said in an Aug. 13 bail motion obtained by Rolling Stone.
“I’ll give somebody out here a million dollars if they can guess who is here,” DaBaby said before Peterson revealed himself and the rappers performed together. A judge hiked Peterson’s bail to $250,000 on Sept. 2 as punishment for the violation.
In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, Pete remained vague on social media. Stogner confirmed Tuesday that Pete told him she initially attributed her injuries to stepping on glass because she was worried about what the responding officers might do if they knew Peterson had a firearm in the car.
“She said that at the time, she was extremely scared and embarrassed, and due to the fact that she was friends with the defendant, she was scared that he was going to get in trouble, and she also expressed some concerns regarding the political climate regarding police and shootings,” he testified. “She was afraid that there had been recent police shootings, and she described her concern about the police possibly shooting the defendant since he had just committed a shooting.”
Stogner said he based his investigation on his interviews with the people involved and could not recall the details of Pete’s social media posts.
“Black women are so unprotected & we hold so many things in to protect the feelings of others w/o considering our own. It might be funny to y’all on the internet and just another messy topic for you to talk about but this is my real life and I’m real life hurt and traumatized,” she tweeted July 17, 2020.
“I had to get surgery. It was super scary. It was just the worst experience of my life. And it’s not funny. It’s nothing to joke about,” she said in an Instagram Live video on July 27, 2020. “I didn’t deserve to get shot. I didn’t do shit. And thank God that the bullets didn’t touch bones. They didn’t break tendons.”
In her Aug. 20, 2020, post, she said the shooting happened after she exited the vehicle’s front passenger seat because she was “done arguing.” “I get out. I’m walking away,” she said. “(Peterson) from out the backseat of the car starts shooting me. You shot me.”
Pete called the responding officers “aggressive,” and said she didn’t tell them what happened “immediately right then” because she “didn’t want to die.”
“I don’t want the police to shoot me,” she said. “Even though he shot me, I tried to spare him. And ya’ll motherfuckers is not sparing me. That’s crazy.”
Since the incident, Pete has tried to move on. She was on the cover of Time magazine, named as one of the world’s 100 Most Influential People, and went on to win Best New Artist at the Grammy Awards held last March. She also won Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance for “Savage (Remix).”
Last weekend, Pete earned her Bachelor’s degree in Health Administration from Texas Southern University in Houston and received the 18th Congressional District Humanitarian Award from Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee.
Peterson was ordered back to court Jan. 13. He had no comment as he left the courthouse Tuesday with Holley.