Megan Thee Stallion and Tory Lanez Shooting Trial: Everything That's Happened

The trial centered on the shooting in which Tory wounded Megan began this month and ended with a guilty verdict. Here's what all has happened so far.

Megan Thee Stallion and Tory Lanez are seen in separate spliced photos

Images via Getty/Noam Galai/ABA & Getty/Johnny Nunez

Megan Thee Stallion and Tory Lanez are seen in separate spliced photos

After months of updates leading up to its kickoff, not to mention multiple instances of misinformation making the rounds, the trial centered on Tory Lanez’s alleged shooting of Megan Thee Stallion began on Monday, Dec. 12, 2022 and concluded on Friday, Dec. 23 with a Los Angles Jury finding him guilty on all charges. 

As revealed in an Oct. 2020 news release from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, Lanez—real name Daystar Peterson—is accused of “shooting several times” at Megan’s feet, wounding her. 

Ahead of the trial, as previously reported, Lanez was ordered to be placed on house arrest, albeit in connection with a separate incident involving August Alsina.

Below, we break down everything we know about what led to this case, what has been said publicly since, and in-court proceedings as they unfold.

Tory was alleged to have shot Megan on July 12 of 2020 following a party at Kylie Jenner’s house. 

The incident, per the authorities, went down on July 12 in the Hollywood Hills area. Kelsey Nicole, who’s been reported to have at one point been connected to Megan in a friend and assistant capacity, was also with Tory and Megan during the night in question.

According to the aforementioned initial news release from the D.A.’s office, Lanez and Megan “got into an argument while riding in an SUV” after the group left the gathering. At some point, Megan—then identified only as “the victim” in prosecutor documents—exited the SUV, at which Lanez is alleged to have shot her.

A subsequent medical report later reviewed by Complex noted that Megan still had bullet fragments in her feet in connection with the shooting. As reported in April of this year, the records stated, among other things, that the “risks and benefits of operative treatment” had been discussed. Such risks were listed as including injury to arteries, infection, loss of function of the extremity, and more.

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Initially, Megan did not name Tory in connection with the incident, telling Gayle King in a subsequent interview that the U.S.’s long history of police brutality and racist policies made her fearful in the immediate aftermath.

In that same interview, which marked the first time Megan spoke out in detail about the shooting, she said that Tory had offered her a payment of $1 million to not speak publicly about allegedly shooting her.

“He is standing up over the window, shooting. I didn’t even wanna move. I didn’t want to move too quick. … I was really scared because I had never been shot at before,” Megan said at the time

Earlier, in the late 2020 track “Shots Fired” off her Good News album, Megan appeared to reference the shooting. She also later discussed the case in a Rolling Stone interview this June, saying at the time that she wants Lanez “to go to jail.” She continued, “I want him to go under the jail.” 

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Lanez, meanwhile, has continued to claim his innocence in connection with the case. 

In September, Lanez made a slew of claims about the incident as part of his Daystar project in 2020. Among the claims, which are broken down in greater detail here, are Lanez purporting that he’s being “framed.” Later that year, Lanez again claimed he was innocent, this time in an Instagram comment in which he referenced his Daystar lyrics.

At the top of 2021, Lanez—as seen in legal docs obtained by Complex—asked the court to modify a protection order that was then barring him from publicly speaking out about the case. Earlier that month, Megan addressed the spread of false information regarding the case, namely the spread of a quickly-proven-to-be-false claim that charges had been dropped.

Kelsey Nicole initially spoke out in the form of a diss track titled “Bussin Back,” itself a response to the aforementioned “Shots Fired” song from Meg.

More notable, however, is Kelsey’s response late last year to claims made by Lanez’s then-defense lawyer Shawn Holley. As outlined by Rolling Stone court reporter Nancy Dillon at the time, Holley made claims believed to be about Nicole during a preliminary hearing in December 2021, including that she and Megan had been at odds over Tory for romantic reasons.

“This is ALL cap,” Nicole responded.

In a subsequent report on Nicole’s response, it was further noted that a source had confirmed to Complex that an LAPD detective had testified during the hearing about a jail call Tory had with Megan’s ex-assistant. During that call, it was reported at the time, Lanez was alleged to have apologized for the shooting.

Just before the trial began, a new felony firearm charge was added against Lanez.

All told, Lanez has been charged with the following: discharging a firearm with gross negligence, assault with a semiautomatic firearm, and carrying an unregistered firearm in a vehicle. Prior to the addition of the third felony charge this month, the D.A.’s office said that Lanez was facing a potential maximum sentence of more than 22 years behind bars if convicted as charged.

As the trial began, it was revealed during opening statements that Kelsey Nicole (also referred to in legal proceedings as Kelsey Harris) would be testifying later on in the case that she, per Dillon, “saw her close friend get shot by the defendant.” 

Meanwhile, Lanez’s team made a number of claims on day one, including reiterating prior remarks about Nicole. As for a claim involving Ben Simmons of the Brooklyn Nets, namely one of the salacious (and subsequently criticized and questioned) variety, Simmons shared a quick rip of Rick Ross’ viral “false accusations!” clip to shut down such talk.

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On the second day of the trial, Megan herself took the stand at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in Los Angeles. While on the stand, Megan reiterated a number of her previous remarks about the shooting, including Lanez having allegedly offered her hush money. She also criticized how some artists have responded to the case, telling the court she “can’t believe I have to come up here and do this” and calling out the male-focused aspect of the music industry.

“This show situation in the industry is like a big boys club,” Megan said, per NPR. Elsewhere, Megan reflected on how some have attempted to make her “the villain” in the case while propping up Lanez as “the victim.”

“I wish he would’ve just killed me if I knew I’d have to go through this,” Megan also said.

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Kelsey Harris, Megan’s ex-friend and former assistant, was granted immunity Wednesday in exchange for her testimony in Lanez’s felony assault trial.

“I don’t care to be here today,” Harris told Deputy District Attorney Kathy Ta shortly after taking the witness stand. “I just don’t want to be here.”

Harris told the court her mental health was suffering due to a recent death and the birth of a child. She said the trial was a “triggering situation” and accused Megan of weaving a false narrative that tarnished her reputation.

“[Megan’s] painted the picture that I betrayed her, she’s painted the picture that I’m this bad person, bad friend, that I took hush money,” she said in court, as reported by Rolling Stone. “There are many lies.”

The witness was then asked about the defense’s suggestion that it was she, not Lanez, who shot Megan. She told Ta that the claims were “ridiculous.” 

Harris then detailed the events that led up to Megan’s alleged shooting. She described her estranged friend as being “drunk” and “a little off” on the night of Kylie Jenner’s party.

“The argument that took place inside carried on,” she said without getting specific. “There was so much going back and forth, name calling (between) me and Megan, Tory and Megan, Tory and Me, Megan and Tory.”

Ta then brought up Harris’ September interview with prosecutors, when she claimed Lanez had threatened to shoot her. Harris was asked if she remembered making such a statement, but she remained tight-lipped.

“Do I have to answer that?” Harris asked Judge David Herriford, who replied in the affirmative.

“Um, yes, ma’am,” Harris said.

“And this was in the car, correct?” Ta asked.

“Yes,” she replied.

“What did he do, and what did he say?” Ta asked, prompting Harris to plead the fifth. “Why don’t you want to answer that question?” 

“I don’t want to be here,” Harris responded.

Harris returned to the stand on Thursday, but struggled to provide conclusive answers.

According to Rolling Stone, Megan’s former friend/assistant recanted prior statements about Lanez’s alleged attack on the Houston rapper. In a September statement to prosecutors, Harris reportedly corroborated Megan’s account of the alleged shooting. She told authorities that Lanez had threatened to shoot her before he opened fire on Megan; however, on day four of the trial, Harris told the court some of her initial statements were “not accurate.”

“The night was a blur,” she told Ta, when pressed about the nature of Lanez’s alleged threat. “We were under the influence.”

Harris went on to say she never saw Lanez shoot Megan, but admitted to sending Megan’s bodyguard a series of text messages that read: “Help / Tory shot meg / 911.” She told Ta that the messages, which were reportedly sent five minutes after the shooting, were based on “assumptions.”

“What’s going on with you today?” Ta asked Harris. “What happened between September and today? … In September when you spoke with us, you gave us a lot of detailed statements about what happened, right? … What happened between September and today that you forgot everything?”

“I told you what I’m going through,” Harris replied.

According to TMZ, Lanez’s attorney asked Harris if the Canadian rapper had paid for her silence, as many have suspected.

“No. I want to make it very clear…Tory didn’t pay me anything,” she responded.

During the fifth day of the trial, the judge allowed the jury to hear the entire 80-minute audio of Kelsey Harris’ interview with prosecutors.

In it, Harris detailed the shooting in detail, claiming the SUV stopped because Lanez wanted them out of the vehicle. Almost immediately Harris hears gunshots, and by the third and forth shot she saw Lanez sitting in the front seat leaning over the front passenger door. He aimed the gun in Megan’s direction.

Jurors just heard most of Kelsey's statement. It's intense, and incredibly detailed

Kelsey carefully describes the shooting blow-by-blow, alleging it happened immediately after Tory ordered his driver to stop the SUV because he wanted Megan and Kelsey ejected from the vehicle

— Nancy Dillon (@Nancy__Dillon) December 16, 2022

Kelsey: "I get out of my side & no sooner do you know, you start hearing gunshots going off. I looked up maybe about the second or third gunshot. You see Tory, he’s now in the front seat. I guess he must have jumped over in a smooth transition, & he’s leaning over the door"

— Nancy Dillon (@Nancy__Dillon) December 16, 2022

Kelsey: "He’s shooting over the top of the door. He was leaning over the front passenger door and he was shooting the gun...(Megan) was walking away when this happened, but by the 3rd or 4th shot, she was facing towards us, and I would describe it as like a deer in headlights."

— Nancy Dillon (@Nancy__Dillon) December 16, 2022

Kelsey: "The way Tory was angling the gun, it wasn’t like straight, it was like, down, definitely in her direction"

She didn't hear him say anything, she told prosecutors during the Sept. 14, 2022 interview that she largely disavowed during her live testimony this week

— Nancy Dillon (@Nancy__Dillon) December 16, 2022

The September audio reveals Harris echoed the statements of Megan confirming she was shot by Tory. However, when she was on the stand yesterday, it seems like her testimony couldn’t recall a lot of things.

LAPD officer Sandra Cabral was called as a witness by the prosecution to present body cam footage, according to Law & Crime senior reporter Meghann Cuniff. Cabral was one of the officers who pulled over Tory Lanez’s vehicle after the shooting took place.

The footage shows Kelsey on the ground, with Tory and his driver nearby, spread out and face down in the street per the police's orders. Kelsey can be heard crying and sounds kind of frantic as Officer Cabral is tending to her, helping her get up from the street while handcuffed.

— Meghann Cuniff (@meghanncuniff) December 19, 2022

Amid questioning from Tory’s attorney George Mgdesyan regarding his client’s demeanor following the incident, Cabral said she was assigned to tend to Megan’s former friend Kelsey Harris, and could not comment on anything related to him.  

Deputy DA Kathy Ta called on senior DA investigator Jody Little to review lyrics from “Bussin Back,” a diss track from Kelsey directed at Megan. Ta brought attention to a specific line which states, “(Who shot ya) ‘Cause you know it wasn’t me/I was 10 toes down whenever you had beef.”

This got a snicker from some members of the public. When Mgdesyan questioned Little about other lyrics that mentioning lying, Little says "I did not commit lyrics to memory." Mgdesyan gets v frustrated w/ Little over and over. Lotta raised eyebrows, chuckles and head shaking.

— Louder Than A Riot (@LouderThanARiot) December 19, 2022

Meanwhile, an effort from prosecutors to have new witness tampering charges added against Lanez proved unsuccessful. As Rolling Stone reports, the push was made in response to Lanez allegedly having offered hush money in connection with the shooting. Judge David Herriford ultimately sided with the defense and questioned why such charges weren’t brought to his attention sooner given that the allegation itself wasn’t a new one.

On Tuesday, Tory Lanez’s defense team called to the stand Sean Kelly, who witnessed some of the incident from a balcony overlooking Nichols Canyon Boulevard, where the altercation took place.

Kelly told the court he was woken up to a fight between two women, who presumably were Megan and Harris. “They were pulling the hair and hitting each other it was quite violent,” Kelly said.

Moments later, Kelly heard what he initially believed to be fireworks, before he observed a muzzle flash “about the same time the smaller gentleman [Lanez] got out of the car.”

L.A. Times reporter James Queally notes that Kelly is a “bit of all over the place witness,” as the witness first stated that he saw the flashes coming from “one of the girls,” before saying, “The flashes then come from him,” referring to Tory.

“I saw flashes, I never saw the gun. I don’t know, I never saw a gun, it was just flashes,” Kelly said.

Read more of Queally’s trial notes from today in the below thread.

Kelly says he heard what he at first believed to be fireworks and then saw a muzzle flash. Confusingly, Kelly says he both saw the muzzle flash coming from “one of the girls” but also saw it “about the same time the smaller gentleman (Lanez) got out of the car.”

— James Queally (@JamesQueallyLAT) December 20, 2022

Kelly a bit of an all over the place witness.
“The flashes then come from him,” he says referring to Lanez.
“I believe I saw the girl shoot first, I didn’t know she was shooting just thought it was fireworks,” he said later.

— James Queally (@JamesQueallyLAT) December 20, 2022

“I saw flashes, I never saw the gun. I don’t know, I never saw a gun it was just flashes,” Kelly says, not long after saying he told investigators “they were both shooting.” Not sure if this is wording issue, but I’m not sure how one sees a shooting without seeing a gun.

— James Queally (@JamesQueallyLAT) December 20, 2022

Law & Crime reporter Meghann Cuniff also shared an extensive thread about Tuesday’s proceedings and Kelly’s testimony:

"Did you see a muzzle flash?" Mgdesyan asked.
"Yes," Kelly answered. He added: "About the same time that the smallest individual got out of the car."
It only worsened for Mgdesyan.
Kelly said the small guy "got out about that time, all shouting."

— Meghann Cuniff (@meghanncuniff) December 20, 2022

Mgdesyan kept asking Kelly about him previously telling a defense investigator he saw Tory try to take the gun, but Kelly testified today that the short guy he saw "stepped out of the car and he joined the fray."

— Meghann Cuniff (@meghanncuniff) December 20, 2022

Another thing about Kelly: He said his concern that night was his son, not the people outside, and this was traumatic. Some of what he said jurors may know isn’t true - the inside of the Escalade was not shot up. But his testimony became a real wild card for the defense.

— Meghann Cuniff (@meghanncuniff) December 20, 2022


Tory Lanez declined to take the stand.

According to Law & Crime reporter Meghann Cuniff, the defendant’s legal team informed the court that Lanez would not provide testimony on Day 8 of his assault trial against Megan Thee Stallion. Judge David Herriford reportedly asked Lanez if he was aware of his right to testify and whether he fully considered his decision. 

“Yes, your honor,” Lanez reportedly responded.

Both parties rested their cases shortly after, confirming there would be no testimony from Justin Edison, Megan’s ex-body guard who allegedly went “missing” before his scheduled appearance in the trial. Billboard also reported that Jaquan Smith, Lanez’s driver who present during the 2020 shooting, would not testify.

Prior to the closing arguments, Cuniff reported that the prosecution has provided about 47 pieces of evidence, while the defense has only a “handful.” The items include Instagram posts, photos of the crime scene, X-rays of Megan’s foot injuries, as well as LAPD body cam footage of officers pulling over the Escalade that was occupied by Megan and Lanez. Cuniff said the jury will have access to this evidence during their deliberations.

All of this evidence will be with the jurors as they deliberate. They'll have a CD of police body camera footage from LAPD pulling over the Escalade at gunpoint and ordering everyone out. There's audio of a 911 call. Home security footage with audio of the gunshots.

— Meghann Cuniff (@meghanncuniff) December 21, 2022

There's also a photo of the handgun that fired the five rounds in evidence, and there's a photo of blood inside the Escalade, as well as a suitcase that was in there. There are photos of Tory and Kelsey and Tory's driver Jaquan Smith at the police station.

— Meghann Cuniff (@meghanncuniff) December 21, 2022

There's a CD with footage from the police stop and the aftermath. There's a recording of Tory's jail call to Kelsey in which he apologies and says he was so drunk (He never mentions a shooting or a gun. His lawyer says he was apologizing for sleeping with both Kelsey and Meg.)

— Meghann Cuniff (@meghanncuniff) December 21, 2022

Deputy District Attorney Alexander Bott began and ended his closing arguments with quotes from Megan’s testimony: “If I would have known that coming out and speaking my truth would come with people agreeing with me being shot, if I would known, I would have started to lose my confidence” she previously told the jury.

Bott went on to say that the last couple of years have been “torture” for Megan, and said it was time to hold Lanez “accountable” for his alleged crimes.

“I want everybody to really think back to last Tuesday. That’s when Meg testified,” Bott said, as reported by Cuniff. “This is the critical question in this case: Was Meg telling the truth that afternoon?” Bott asked. “I think everybody in this courtroom knows the answer to that question.”

The verdict now rests in the hands of the jury. 

Deliberations began on Thursday following closing arguments from both parties. According to Law & Crime senior reporter Meghann Cuniff, L.A. County Deputy District Attorney Kathy Ta reminded the jury that the focus of this case should be on the shooting itself, and not a previous sexual relationship between the people involved. 

Tory Lanez’s attorney George Mgdesyan has consistently tried to cast doubt on Megan Thee Stallion, questioning why she would wait until the trial to admit she and Lanez had a sexual relationship, and take days before speaking with police about the shooting. 

Ta also disputed two of Mgdesyan’s arguments: Megan’s former friend Kelsey Harris was the one who actually shot her, and the testimony of Sean Kelly, who allegedly witnessed the incident from a nearby balcony. 

Ta said regarding Kelsey Harris: "The idea that she's a criminal mastermind? She's a terrible liar on the stand."
She also went through key passages from Hollywood Hills homeowner Sean Kelly's testimony about seeing Tory holding an object in his hand when flashes were going off.

— Meghann Cuniff (@meghanncuniff) December 22, 2022

Ta argues Lanez shot Megan because his “massive ego” was “disrespected,” alluding to the prosecution’s claim that he fired the weapon after she insulted his music career.  

Ta said Tory "had a massive ego and he could not handle being disrespected." And when Megan had the nerve to walk away from him, he lost it and fired five rounds at her, then later apologized for doing so.
"This is a straight-forward case," Ta said.

— Meghann Cuniff (@meghanncuniff) December 22, 2022

Despite reports suggesting that a verdict has been reached, the jury will continue deliberations tomorrow morning.

The jury in Tory Lanez’s trial is coming back tomorrow at 9 a.m. for continued deliberations.

— Meghann Cuniff (@meghanncuniff) December 22, 2022

The jury continued to deliberate on Friday, December 23 and announced later in the day that they found Tory Lanez guilty of all three charges. The charges, as previously mentioned, were assault with a semiautomatic firearm, having a concealed and loaded firearm in a vehicle, and discharge of a firearm with gross negligence.

The verdict was reached following seven hours of deliberations.

Lanez was taken into custody after the jury’s verdict was announced. He is scheduled to be sentenced on January 27th, 2023. The Canadian rapper is facing more than 20 years behind bars and deportation. 

“The jury got it right. I am thankful there is justice for Meg,” Megan’s attorney Alex Spiro said in a statement that was provided to Complex.

Tory Lanez was remanded on the spot, led out in handcuffs by sheriff's deputies. There were six total in the courtroom, two at door and four behind Lanez, and there was quite a scene when they tried to get Lanez's father and stepmother under control.

— Meghann Cuniff (@meghanncuniff) December 23, 2022

Lanez’s attorney George Mgdesyan announced plans to look into appealing the jury’s decision. 

“We are shocked by the verdict,” Mgdesyan said in a statement via Page Six. “There was not sufficient evidence to convict Mr. Peterson. We believe this case was not proven beyond a reasonable doubt. We will be exploring all options including an appeal.”

Additionally, Los Angeles District Attorney Gascón released a statement after the news broke in which he spoke of the “bravery” Megan displayed.

“You showed incredible courage and vulnerability with your testimony despite repeated and grotesque attacks that you did not deserve. You faced unjust and despicable scrutiny that no woman should ever face and you have been an inspiration to others across LA County and the nation,” Gascón said.

The District Attorney continued, “Women, especially Black women, are afraid to report crimes like assault and sexual violence because they are too often not believed. This trial, for the second time this month, highlighted the numerous ways that our society must do better for women… I’d also like to thank the jurors for their time and thoughtful deliberation, and our trial team for their tireless pursuit of the truth. You spent countless hours away from your families during the holiday season preparing this case and finding justice for Ms. Pete. Your sacrifice is appreciated.”

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