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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Amusement License Renewal Denied for Armory

Rochester Police Chief David Smith said Wednesday that public entertainment will not be permitted at the site of a deadly stampede at a concert in Rochester until an investigation into the incident is concluded.

Members of the Rochester Police Department and the city’s corporate counsel attempted to meet with Main Street Armory owner Scott Donaldson on Wednesday to discuss the venue’s pending renewal of its entertainment license, Smith said. Licenses need to be renewed annually.

Police will offer the owner two options, Smith said, to either halt future activity at the armory until the investigation is complete, or refuse to renew the license. The owners refused to attend the meeting, and the police chief signed an order denying the renewal application, Smith said.

“This denial means that the Main Street Armory can no longer host any public entertainment pending a full and thorough review of the matter,” Smith said.

Smith said the RPD’s investigation into the crowd influx was continuing, but the cessation of activity at the Armory was “an immediate step we can take to ensure that the events of Sunday night are not repeated.”

A notice of the refusal had been posted at the location, Smith said, adding that Donaldson had provided the department with everything they asked of him.

Donaldson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Police announced earlier this week that Brandi Miller, 35, of Rochester, and Roundcia Belton, 33, of Buffalo, died from injuries sustained as they killed Memphis rappers GloRilla and Finesse2tymes Stampede at the concert by panicked fans rushing towards the exit.

A third woman, 35, from Syracuse, remains in hospital in critical condition, according to RPD spokesman Lt. Greg Bello.

Police said seven other people were being treated at an area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The city of Rochester announced earlier this week that a concert scheduled for this Saturday had been cancelled.

“These are very unique and serious situations,” Smith said. “For the sake of public safety, without knowing exactly what caused this, we think it is prudent that we not allow events to continue and risk a repeat of what happened on Sunday.”

Authorities are asking anyone with information, pictures or video of the unfolding incident to call 911 or send it to psi@cityofrochester.gov so it can be reviewed in the investigation.

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