Rap figure cleared in officer shooting

Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

Tyran “Tah Tah” Moore was cleared as a suspect Friday in the shooting of a New York police captain but remains in custody on an unrelated weapons charge.

Moore, a fringe rap industry figure, was arrested Thursday after a tense, three-hour standoff with police and was held as a suspect in the shooting. But authorities later came to believe that he wasn’t involved.

“He was in the general vicinity on the night of the shooting and it was appropriate that he be taken into custody and questioned,” New York Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said. “But the only thing that he is going to be charged for now is the possession of a firearm.”

Moore, an ex-convict, gained notoriety in the rap world last year after rap star 50 Cent singled him out as a potential suspect in his own shooting. Moore’s arrest caused a stir in music circles this week because of his alleged association with Kenneth “Supreme” McGriff, the former drug lord whose ties with Vivendi Universal’s Murder Inc. label are under federal investigation.

Authorities contend that McGriff delivered cash from illegal drugs to the label’s offices as part of an elaborate money laundering scheme concocted by Murder Inc. chief Irv “Gotti” Lorenzo, according to court records.

Law enforcement sources said Moore and McGriff were seen last year visiting Lorenzo at the Murder Inc. office.

Lawyers for McGriff and Lorenzo deny that account, as well as allegations that drug money was laundered through the label.

“Tyran Moore has no relation to Kenneth McGriff or his involvement in the entertainment industry,” said attorney Robert Simels, who represents McGriff.

Lorenzo attorney Ron Sweeney said, “Murder Inc. has had no dealings of any kind whatsoever with Tyran Moore,” and added, “We will cooperate fully in this investigation if requested to do so.”

New York Police Capt. Kenneth Girven was shot early Wednesday morning after confronting two men hiding behind a parked vehicle on a Harlem street.

The shooting sparked a manhunt that led police to Moore, who surrendered Thursday after a lengthy standoff with police. Investigators recovered a 9-millimeter handgun and bullets from the house during the arrest -- the same type of weapon used in the assault on Girven.

Informants told police that Moore had visited a club on the street where Girven was shot, and had parked a rental car in the vicinity of the shooting. Investigators showed Moore’s picture to Girven, and the captain identified him as the shooter.

But Girven changed his mind about Moore after the arrest, police sources said. Moore also established an alibi for his whereabouts that satisfied investigators, the sources said.