February 15, 2001 -- Driver Wardell Fenderson testified today that after she emerged from a New York nightclub with then-boyfriend Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs, singer-actress Jennifer Lopez said Jamal "Shyne" Barrow had fired a gun.
Fenderson, 42, also testified that before going to the nightclub, he saw Combs stuff a handgun into his pants, according to The Associated Press.
Combs and bodyguard Anthony "Wolf" Jones are facing weapons and bribery charges stemming from a Dec. 27, 1999, nightclub shooting; Barrow is standing trial alongside them at Manhattan Superior Court, facing three charges of attempted murder.
Fenderson was driving a Lincoln Navigator for Combs, Jones, and Lopez on the night of the shooting. He said that after the shooting, Combs and Lopez were brought to the Navigator separately by bodyguards. Fenderson said he then drove on the sidewalk, around a police barricade, and sped north on Eighth Avenue, according to the news service.
"It was like something out of a movie — chaos, a panic situation," he testified, according to the AP. "I overhear Ms. Lopez say, 'Shyne busted off! Shyne busted off in the air!'"
When asked by prosecutor Matthew Bogdanos what he understood this to mean, he responded, "That he fired a weapon."
Lopez, who was taken to the police station on the night of the incident but not charged, may be called as a witness in the case.
Fenderson also testified that earlier in the night, when Combs left his recording studio, he saw the rap millionaire carrying a gun in his right hand, before stashing it in his waistband, the AP reported.
"I thought, 'What in God's name is he doing holding a gun?'" Fenderson testified, according to the news service. "We made eye contact, but nothing was said. He went on about his business."
In yesterday's testimony, Combs' regular chauffeur testified that Ferguson, the weekend driver, did not know how to open a secret compartment in the Navigator, where the prosecution says Combs tried to stash a gun.
According to earlier testimony from a police officer, Fenderson initially claimed ownership of a gun found in the vehicle — but later took it back.
The prosecution claims that Combs tried to bribe Fenderson into saying he owned the gun. Combs' lawyers say the rap star was merely trying to find the gun's true owner and that Fenderson turned on Combs.