Rap mogul Marion "Suge" Knight is in hospital after being shot in the leg at a party hosted by Grammy-winning hip hop star Kanye West.
Death Row Records founder Knight started out as a bodyguard
He was described by police as being in "good condition".
The party was being held at a club in Miami, Florida, to celebrate Sunday night's MTV Video Music Awards.
Sonja Mauro, a guest at the club, said she heard a shot which rang out in the party's VIP section shortly before 1am and people began screaming and running.
"I was in there and I heard a pop and I ran out and got trampled," she said.
Knight's Death Row Records label, which he founded after a failed career as a football player, became a huge success in the early 1990s.
It boasted rap stars such as Dr Dre, Snoop Doggy Dogg and Tupac Shakur, and brought the so-called "gangsta" rap style into the mainstream.
The label is now known as Tha Row.
Knight was recently fined $691 (£389) after pleading no contest to making an illegal U-turn and driving without insurance.
An alleged marijuana possession was dismissed, after prosecutors found insufficient evidence to support it.
The record mogul was jailed for more than a week following his arrest in Barstow, California, on 5 February.
Knight was found to be violating parole at the time of his arrest, more than 50 miles from his home.
This year's MTV Music Video awards are led by Green Day, with eight nominations, while Gwen Stefani and Missy Elliott have six.
They are being held despite the impact of Hurricane Katrina, which has been blamed for the loss of nine lives as it swept across the southern coast of Florida.
Forecasters said the hurricane, expected to make landfall on Monday, could hit anywhere from Florida to Louisiana.