Tour Manager for Nicki Minaj Dies in Philadelphia Stabbing | NBC 10 Philadelphia

Tour Manager for Nicki Minaj Dies in Philadelphia Stabbing

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    De'Von Pickett, tour manager for music star Nicki Minaj, was stabbed to death overnight in West Oak Lane. He was in town preparing for her upcoming tour. NBC10's Nefertiti Jacquez spoke with Pickett's cousin. (Published Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015)

    A tour manager who was well-known in the music industry and was working on preparations for rap superstar Nicki Minaj's upcoming tour, died after a bar fight spread into a Philadelphia street.

    De'Von Pickett, 29, of the Bronx, New York, was stabbed to death outside the Che Bar & Grill along Stenton Avenue in Philadelphia's West Oak Lane neighborhood early Wednesday morning.

    Pickett was with Eric Reed, 27, and three other friends inside the bar around 2:35 a.m. when they got into an argument with another group of men, according to police.

    “We believe that both of the victims, as well as the perpetrator, were all inside of this bar and that’s when an argument started,” said Chief Inspector Scott Small.

    The argument spread outside the bar where one of the men pulled out a knife, police said.

    Someone stabbed both Pickett and Reed several times.

    Pickett suffered stab wounds in the torso while Reed 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. Reed remained in fair condition late Wednesday.

    Police later returned to the 6300 block of Stenton Avenue where they found personal items, a cellphone and blood on the sidewalk outside the bar. A Philadelphia Police crime camera and business surveillance cameras possibly captured at least part of the incident, said investigators.

    Police said the suspect was last seen driving off in a gray Buick LeSabre. He is described as a 30-year-old man standing 5-foot, 8-inches tall and weighing 160 pounds with a full beard. He was last seen wearing a black and gray jacket.

    Earlier, witnesses told investigators that the dispute possibly had to do with a recently fired employee. Small said that police were working to verify if that was actually the case.

    Both Pickett and Reed were tour managers who were working on preparations for Minaj's "The Pinkprint Tour," which is set to begin next month in Sweden. Pickett was also the co-founder of BK Nerd & Co. and was well-known in the music industry for his work in branding and public relations.

    Minaj tweeted that she knew the victims were in Philly to rehearse for her upcoming tour:

    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.

    #RipDayDay you are loved and will be missed.

    A photo posted by Questlove Gomez (@questlove) on

    throwback #RIPDayDay

    A photo posted by badgalriri (@badgalriri) on

    Family and friends, including Questlove of the Roots, also shared their condolences on Twitter, using the hashtag #RIPDayDay.

    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.