Federal authorities are looking at the double shooting outside a Manhattan nightclub to see if it may have something to do with an ongoing probe of rap violence, sources said yesterday.
As rapper Ja Rule was partying inside LQ on Lexington Ave., bullets flew outside, killing one and wounding another.
The wounded man, Troy Moore, 37, is the brother of Tyran (Tah-Tah) Moore, a close associate of drug kingpin Kenneth (Supreme) McGriff.
McGriff has been targeted in a wide-ranging investigation into rap industry slayings and allegations he used drug money to back Murder Inc., the label run by recording mogul Irving (Irv Gotti) Lorenzo.
Sources say Tyran Moore has resisted pressure to cooperate in the case against McGriff.
NYPD detectives are working several theories behind the LQ shooting, including the possible connection to the larger federal investigation, sources said.
Police identified the dead man as William Clark, 39, of Queens. Both he and Troy Moore, also of Queens, have long arrest records, according to a law enforcement source who said Moore wasn't helpful when questioned about the shooting.
"[Clark and Troy Moore] are bad guys and when bad guys get together, bad things happen," said an investigator. "But if it turns out that this is related to something bigger, I wouldn't be surprised either."
Tyran Moore is facing a stiff federal prison sentence after he was busted last year on an illegal gun charge.
His lawyer, Marvyn Kornberg, was asked if the shooting was meant as a warning to his client to keep his mouth shut.
"It would be stupid to send a message to a man who is not cooperating by hurting a member of his family," said Kornberg. "Something like that is liable to make him want to get even."
Ja Rule's lawyer, Murray Richman, said he has not spoken to the rap star since the shooting. The rapper's manager, Ronald (Gutta) Robinson, who was recently charged by the feds with laundering drug money, was not at the LQ party, Richman said.
It was the second shooting in a week tied to Ja Rule, who was hosting a holiday party at LQ. On Dec. 20, a man was shot at a nightclub in Peoria, Ill., after someone threw a drink in the rap star's face.