HomeArts & EntertainmentMusicMegan Thee Stallion's Friend to Testify She Saw Tory Lanez Fire Gun

Megan Thee Stallion’s Friend to Testify She Saw Tory Lanez Fire Gun

Tory Lanez’s felony assault trial opened in Los Angeles Monday with prosecutors revealing for the first time that key witness Kelsey Harris will testify she saw Lanez fire the semiautomatic 9mm handgun that wounded Megan Thee Stallion in both feet in the predawn hours of July 12, 2020.

Harris was Megan’s best friend and assistant at the time, and her first-person account is considered crucial considering Lanez’s insistence he’s not the triggerman. Harris was considered a wildcard leading up to trial, staying mysteriously mum over the last two and a half years and becoming estranged from Megan despite their prior close relationship.

“Kelsey will tell you that she just saw her close friend get shot by the defendant,” Los Angeles County Assistant District Attorney Alexander Bott told jurors in his opening statement, adding that Harris rushed to Megan’s side as the “Savage” rapper lay bleeding in a random driveway in the Hollywood Hills. Bott said Harris will testify she freaked out when Lanez approached the two women after he fired five shots.

“Kelsey, she’ll tell you she didn’t know if the defendant still had this gun. She didn’t know what the defendant was capable of, if he was going to continue his assault. Her defensive instincts kicked into gear, and she approached the defendant. She’ll tell you the defendant physically assaulted her at that point. He pulled her by her hair, and he either punched her or slapped her.”

According to Bott, Megan and Harris were both “terrified” at the scene when they both agreed to get back into the car before it was pulled over a short time later. Bott told jurors that Harris quickly sent three highly critical text messages to Megan’s bodyguard Justin Edison in the five minutes following the shooting.

“Help,” Harris texted Edison at 4:27 a.m. on July 12, 2020, according to a visual of the text chain shown on a screen in the courtroom. “Tory Shot Meg,” the next line read. “911,” the third bubble read.

Bott also played a recording of five gun shots for jurors and said Megan will testify that Lanez shouted “Dance, bitch!” before opening fire, an allegation first revealed at Lanez’s preliminary hearing last year.

In his dueling opening statement, Lanez’s defense lawyer George Mgdesyan urged jurors to keep an “open mind.” He said no one beyond Megan heard the “Dance, bitch” line, and he said a neighbor who purportedly witnessed some of the incident from a nearby balcony reported seeing a muzzle flash closest to someone he described as the non-victim female. (Prosecutors have said they won’t be calling the neighbor because he gave conflicting statements, including saying at one point that he was woken up by the sound of gunshots.)

Lanez, whose legal name is Daystar Peterson, has pleaded not guilty to three felony charges in the high-profile case: assault with a firearm causing great bodily injury; concealing a loaded, unregistered firearm in a vehicle; and the recently added count of discharging a firearm with gross negligence.

If convicted as charged, the Alone at Prom rapper is facing the possibility of 22 years and eight months in prison and subsequent deportation since he’s a citizen of Canada.

The case has drawn intense public scrutiny due to the outsized fame of its subjects, the hyper engagement of their respective fan bases and a series of disputed facts that link back to an outdoor pool party at reality TV star Kylie Jenner’s house.

According to prosecutors – and testimony at the preliminary hearing last year – Peterson and Megan were traveling together in a Cadillac Escalade along with Harris and Peterson’s driver, Jauquan Smith, when a heated argument caused Megan to exit the vehicle on a residential street.

At the time, Megan already was rocketing to mainstream superstardom thanks to her viral hit “Savage” and its Grammy-winning remix with Beyoncé. Lanez, meanwhile, had four albums under his belt and a Grammy nomination for his 2016 R&B single “Luv.”  

The exact details of the argument in the SUV remain in dispute. On Monday, Mgdesyan said the alcohol-fueled fight started when Megan purportedly became “jealous” that Peterson was spending time with Jenner in the pool and didn’t want to leave her house. He said Kris Jenner’s boyfriend Corey Gamble was a witness to the genesis of the argument and would take the witness stand.

Mgdesyan told jurors Peterson eventually agreed to leave the party with Megan and Harris, and that the fighting escalated in the vehicle when Peterson blurted out that he and Megan had been intimate. The lawyer said Harris, who initially took Megan’s side against Peterson, became enraged with her longtime friend from Houston because she also had been in a sexual relationship with Peterson. Harris allegedly complained, “Megan did the same thing to me when I was with DaBaby, another rapper, and when I was dating Ben Simmons, the NBA basketball player,” Mgdesyan told jurors.

In statements to the court last week, Mgdesyan said the defense plans to present evidence that Harris could have been the one to discharge the gun. Prosecutors sought to bar Mgdesyan from saying Harris was the shooter.

In his opening, Bott said Peterson, who was highly intoxicated, was the one who pulled out the gun after Megan dissed his musical talent. Bott conceded Megan and Peterson had “been intimate” at some point before the shooting, but he suggested Peterson’s bruised ego was the motive, not anything linked to jealousy.

“They’d all been drinking, emotions were running high. What Megan and Kelsey will both tell you is what really set off the defendant was when Megan insulted his skills as a musical artist,” Bott said.

Bott told jurors that Megan lied at first to responding officers, saying she stepped on glass, because she was scared.  

Speaking to Rolling Stone for a cover story earlier this year, Megan said she was friends with Peterson, but they were not an official couple.

“That man was never my ex… never my man,” she told Rolling Stone reporter Mankaprr Conteh. Still, she believed at the time of the shooting that she shared “a real connection” with Peterson because they had bonded over losing their mothers.

“I thought he knew me. And I never would’ve thought he would’ve shot at me at all,” she said.

“I never put my hands on this man,” she said. “I never did anything to him. There was an argument. People argue every day. Friends argue every day.”

Megan, 27, is set to take the witness stand Tuesday. Harris is due to testify as well. According to Megan, Peterson offered both women money for their silence, an allegation Peterson denies.

Meanwhile, Megan’s recovery from the shooting and an emergency surgery was painful and long, she told Rolling Stone. She was discharged from the hospital with both of her legs in bandages.

“I could not walk. I still have bullet fragments in my feet right now. I was very scared that I was not able to be Megan Thee Stallion no more. And I was fucked up,” she said.

In interviews with police and media, she’s explained that fear, embarrassment and a feeling of loyalty toward people she considered her friends led her to initially tell police she stepped on glass. She was worried how police might respond if they knew there was a firearm in the vehicle. 

“I feel shame, a little bit, because even after he shot me, I still was thinking about everybody else in the car,” she told Rolling Stone. “I thought everybody in the car was my friend, [and] the whole time, that’s not how they thought of me. That’s what really hurts.”

Through comments from his lawyers, posts on social media and in song, Peterson has claimed he was framed – that the investigating officer dropped the ball and should have investigated Harris as the possible shooter.

Mgdesyan told jurors that after former LAPD lead investigator Det. Ryan Stogner learned Harris and Peterson both tested positive for gun shot residue, he failed to test the firearm for Harris’ DNA or fingerprints. “Detective Stogner didn’t think it was important,” the lawyer said. “We’ll never know” what such testing would have shown, “because the detective on this case refused to do it,” he said.

For her part, Megan has held firm, questioning why Peterson hasn’t taken responsibility.


“You’ve already shot me. So, why are you dragging it out like this? Like, what else? Have you hated me this much the whole time and I didn’t see it?’” she said in her interview with Conteh.

“I want him to go to jail,” she added. “I want him to go under the jail.”

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