An argument over a woman ultimately led to the stabbing death of rap superstar Nicki Minaj’s tour manager Wednesday, according to sources close to the investigation.
De’Von Pickett was stabbed outside the Che Bar & Grill along Stenton Ave. in Philadelphia’s West Oak Lane neighborhood early Wednesday morning following an altercation with several other men, police said.
He was with Eric Parker, 27, and a few friends outside the bar around 2:35 a.m. making sure that one of the bartenders, a woman that Parker was dating, made it to her car safely when a group of men approached the woman, according to sources.
Parker apparently asked the woman if she was OK and that’s when the fight broke out, sources said.
Someone stabbed both Pickett and Parker several times.
Pickett suffered stab wounds in the torso while Parker suffered stab wounds to his left arm and left side.
A private car rushed both men to Albert Einstein Medical Center. Pickett died from his injuries at 2:45 a.m.
Police later returned to the 6300 block of Stenton Ave where they found personal items, a cellphone and blood on the sidewalk outside the bar. A Philadelphia police crime camera and business surveillance cameras that captured at least part of the incident, said investigators.
Philadelphia police questioned and released a person of interest Friday in connection with the murder.
Despite the person's release, Police Captain James Clark says arrests in the stabbing death of Pickett are imminent.
"We believe we have identified all of the participants involved in this fight and ultimate murder," said Clark.
Sources tell NBC10 that the woman in the middle of the fight was dating Parker as well as one of the attackers.
Pickett was a tour manager and Parker, a tour employee, who were working on preparations for Minaj's "The Pinkprint Tour," which is set to begin next month in Sweden.
Minaj tweeted that she knew the victims were in Philly to rehearse for her upcoming tour:
Two members of my team were stabbed last night in Philly. One was killed. They had only been there for two days rehearsing for the tour.
— NICKI MINAJ (@NICKIMINAJ) Feb. 18, 2015
Pickett's cousin, who did not want to be identified, also confirmed with NBC10 that Pickett was in Philly to work on the tour with Philly rapper Meek Mill.
"They were all here for her," the cousin said. "I guess they were out celebrating and things went wrong."
During his career, Pickett worked with some of the biggest stars in the music industry, including Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake and Hip-Hop artist, Fabolous, who shared his condolences on his Instagram page.
Rihanna also posted photos of her and Pickett on her Instagram page as well.
Pickett's cousin told NBC10 he came all the way from New York to mourn.
"He was a great guy," he said. "He didn't deserve this. He set an example for a lot of guys in this industry and it's sad to see this happen."
The City of Philadelphia is offering a $20,000 reward for an arrest and conviction in Pickett's death.
Parker remained in fair condition late Friday.