Sean "Puffy" Combs' rap sheet is getting a little bit longer.

The hip-hopster and his singer-actress gal-pal Jennifer Lopez were arrested and charged Monday morning with criminal possession of a gun following a late-night club shooting that left three people wounded.

The charges against Lopez were later dropped due to lack of evidence, and she was released. Puffy remains behind bars.

The celeb couple spent most of the night in police custody, being grilled by New York's finest about their possible roles in the incident.

Despite early reports claiming eyewitnesses saw the Grammy-winning rapper fire a gun in the nightclub following a dispute, he was not implicated in the shooting. Rather, a little-known rapper named Jamal Barrow was charged with the shooting.

According to police, a Lincoln Navigator carrying Puffy and Lopez, along with Puffy's driver and bodyguard, was stopped about 2:30 a.m. after speeding away from the Times Square nightspot Club NY, the site of the shooting, and running a red light.

A search of the SUV turned up an unlicensed, stolen gun, leading to a second charge of criminal possession of stolen property against Puffy. Police would not disclose what kind of gun it was, but the weapon will be examined to see if it was discharged.

In addition, the bodyguard, Anthony Jones, and driver, Wardel Fenderson, were charged with criminal possession of a weapon and stolen property. Jones was also rung up on drug charges for possessing marijuana.

Puffy's spokesman, Dan Klores, said, "Sean Combs and Jennifer Lopez had absolutely, positively nothing to do with this shooting...The gun was neither my client's, nor Ms. Lopez's. Both of them got into a car to escape a life-threatening situation and they are mere victims of circumstance--in the wrong place at the wrong time."

In a brief statement, Lopez' attorney, Lawrence Ruggiero, says the Out of Sight star "fully cooperated with authorities...Jennifer Lopez does not own a firearm nor does she condone the use of firearms."

Meanwhile, Barrow, a 19-year-old rapper who goes by the name of Shine, was arrested at the club and charged with attempted murder and criminal possession of a 9mm gun.

A woman and two men were hospitalized following the attack. The woman was shot in the face and is currently listed in stable condition; both men were hit in the shoulder and are stable.

No possible motive for the shooting has been given yet.

This is the second time this year that Puffy, 29, has spent some quality time with police. He was arrested in April for allegedly beating record executive Steven Stoute. Combs was charged with assault, but pleaded guilty to the reduced charge of harassment and was ordered to undergo anger-management counseling.

The romance of Combs and Lopez, 29, has been the subject of considerable tabloid ink over the past year, with various reports saying they were either (a) on the outs or (b) ready to get married anytime now.

Combs also becomes the second big-time hip-hop star linked to a club altercation this month. Best-selling rapper Jay-Z was implicated in a stabbing incident at Manhattan's Kit Kat Klub and is due in court January 31 on assault charges.

(ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 12/27/99 at 10:25 a.m. PT)

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