Rapper Nicki Minaj's tour manager, De'Von Pickett, 29, was stabbed to death outside a local bar in East Germantown in Philadelphia. Pickett was with Eric Parker, 27, who is being treated for stab wounds at a local hospital.
Minaj took to Twitter to announce that Pickett, who hailed from the Bronx, was killed after being stabbed several times in the torso. Pickett and Parker, also a member of Minaj's tour entourage, were in town to prepare for the rapper's The Pinkprint Tour, which is set to launch next month in Sweden.
Two members of my team were stabbed last night in Philly. One was killed. They had only been there for two days rehearsing for the tour.
— NICKI MINAJ (@NICKIMINAJ) February 18, 2015
can't believe this is true! one of the nicest, coolest, funniest people I've ever met and toured with! We had so much fun together!!! Sad to lose a beautiful spirit like yours #RIPDayDay A photo posted by badgalriri (@badgalriri) on Feb 18, 2015 at 10:59am PST
Local law enforcement officers said the two men were drinking with four other friends at the Che Bar & Grill along Stenton Ave. in Philadelphia's West Oak Lane early Wednesday morning when a former bar employee showed up and started pouring herself drinks. The bar's owner told his customers to take off, so Pickett, Parker and their friends went outside to wait for their bartender friend presumably to close up the bar.
At about 2 a.m. on Feb. 18, while the men waited next to their bartender friend's car outside the bar, two to three men, at least one of them carrying a knife, showed up and started shoving them, police said.
The men tried to diffuse the situation to no avail, and Pickett ended up with multiple stab wounds in his upper body while Parker sustained wounds on his left arm and side.
Both men were driven to the Einstein Medical Center, where Pickett was declared dead at 2:45 a.m. Parker is currently being treated and is said to be in fair condition.
It is unclear whether the stabbing outside the bar had any relation to the altercation with the former bar employee, but witnesses told police officers the two disputes were possibly related. Philadelphia chief inspector Scott Small said law enforcers are working to verify the connection between the two incidents.
"We believe that both of the victims as well as the perpetrator were all inside of this bar and that's when an argument started," said Small.
Police said one of the suspects was last seen in a dark gold or gray Buick LeSabre. He is described as a man in his 30s, 5-foot-8, with a thin build, light complexion, and a full beard. He was wearing a black and gray jacket. The City of Philadelphia has put up $20,000 in reward to anyone who can lead to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for Pickett's death.
Pickett, who is co-founder of communications and public relations firm BK Nerd & Co., is well known in the music industry for his tour managing services for a variety of high-profile artists, including Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, Rihanna, and hip hop artist and rapper Fabolous, who expressed grief over Pickett's death on Instagram. Pickett was also known by his nickname Day Day.
"I am still in shock and don't want to believe this. And it hurts even more knowing how good these two dudes are. How hard these guys work. And how loyal they are to whoever they are down with and each other," said Fabolous. "Please send Eric Parker your blessings and a prayer for him to pull thru. And RIP to the fallen soldier Day Day. I can't even believe I'm saying that with your name attached to it. And I hate this being a post! I will miss your energy, your vibe, and you but I'll hold on to your spirit."
Minaj also posted on Instagram how the situation was "unbelievable."
"Another senseless act of violence that took the life of a great guy," she said. "So sad."
Rihanna, who was featured in Kanye West's Glow in the Dark tour in 2008, which was managed by Pickett, also posted a photo of her with Pickett with the hashtag #RIPDayDay.