In April 2022, upon landing at Los Angeles International Airport with his girlfriend, Rihanna, A$AP Rocky was arrested in connection with a shooting that had taken place the previous year. At the time, the Los Angeles Police Department released a statement saying two “acquaintances” had gotten into an argument that “escalated and resulted in the suspect firing a handgun.” The victim wasn’t named, but A$AP Rocky — whose legal name is Rakim Mayers — was identified as the perpetrator. Per police, the victim told officers that Mayers shot at him “three to four times,” grazing his left hand, before fleeing with two men.
Four months later, the victim was identified by his own attorneys as rapper A$AP Relli —legal name Terell Ephron — Mayers’s former friend and member of the rap collective A$AP Mob. Ephron claims that Mayers lured him to an obscure location for a “conversation” and intentionally shot at him “without provocation, warning, or any justification,” and is suing Mayers for assault, battery, and emotional distress.
A week after Ephron filed his suit, prosecutors charged Mayers with two felony counts of assault with a semiautomatic firearm. Though he pleaded not guilty, a judge ruled that prosecutors had enough evidence for the case to go to trial, per the Associated Press. If convicted, he could face up to nine years in prison.
Mayers appeared in court in Los Angeles on Monday, where he entered a not guilty plea. His pretrial date has been set for March 6. Here’s what we know.
Mayers has been charged with two counts of assault with a semiautomatic firearm.
When Mayers was arrested in April 2022, NBC reported that a warrant for Mayers’s L.A. home had been issued and his bail was set at $550,000. He posted bond and was released three hours later.
Four months later, Mayers was officially charged with two counts of assault with a semiautomatic firearm, which he pleaded not guilty to. “Discharging a gun in a public place is a serious offense that could have ended with tragic consequences not only for the person targeted but also for innocent bystanders visiting Hollywood,” District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement. The BBC reports that if he’s found guilty, Mayers faces up to nine years in prison.
Ephron says Mayers lured him to an obscure location for a “conversation,” and then shot at him.
In August 2022, through his attorneys, Ephron came forward as the victim. He alleges that at one point on November 6, 2021, Mayers pointed a semiautomatic handgun at him. Later on the same day, Ephron claims the men got into another altercation and Mayers fired a gun in his direction. Ephron filed a civil suit against Mayers for assault, battery, and emotional distress, claiming that Mayers lured him to an obscure location for a “conversation” and intentionally shot at him “without provocation, warning, or any justification,” causing minor injuries to his left hand. Ephron’s attorneys added that he received “multiple death threats and irreparable harm to his career in the entertainment industry as a result of this incident.”
This isn’t Mayers’s first brush with the law.
Mayers has had several run-ins with the law in the past decade, including two assault charges following public altercations. In July 2019, he was arrested in Sweden after he and three members of his entourage got into a scuffle with a man in the street. Both parties claimed they’d acted in self-defense. Mayers was detained in Sweden for six weeks. He was found guilty of simple assault and required to pay $1,270 in damages. He said on Desus & Mero that the experience was frightening, saying: “It was a little scary because I wasn’t familiar with that country. Then, their rules is different. No bail system, none of that stuff. That shit was trash.”
Mayers’s attorney says he expected for the case to go to trial.
Though Mayers hasn’t spoken about the charges publicly, his attorney, Joe Tacopina, told TMZ in November that he was not surprised his client would be going to trial. “We’re not disappointed, not surprised, we expected to go to trial; we’ve been planning for trial all along. Rocky is going to be vindicated when all this is said and done, without question.”
As for Rihanna, who shares two children with Mayers, a source told Us Weekly ahead of the trial that the singer “is focusing on remaining calm” and “holding it all together.”
The pretrial is set to begin in March.
On Monday, Mayers appeared in court and officially entered a not guilty plea, and the judge said pretrial motions will begin on March 6, the Evening Standard reports. Per the Standard, Mayers laughed when the judge said she couldn’t find some paperwork because she has too many media requests to get through for the trial. He apparently wished the judge a happy new year before leaving the courtroom.