The owner of the Portland recording studio where a Scarborough teenager was shot and killed defended his business’s reputation and said the victim was a bystander, not the target of the violence.

Ron Hargrove, who owns Da Block Records at 26 Market St., called a news conference Tuesday night in Post Office Park, at the top of the Old Port, near where 19-year-old Treyjon Arsenault and another man were shot late Monday.

Arsenault died early Tuesday and the other victim, a 20-year-old Portland man police wouldn’t identify, was at Maine Medical Center and was expected to recover.

Hargrove moved from Boston to Portland in 2001 and opened the studio in 2007. He said anyone who draws the conclusion that the Old Port is unsafe because of the shooting is mistaken.

“This random act of violence does not in any way reflect on me, the rappers we deal with, or the city,” Hargrove said. “People need to know that Treyjon was a victim. (The shooting) was not at him. Trey was just hanging.”

He described Arsenault as a good kid who was always positive. The 2014 Westbrook High School graduate had visited the studio previously to listen to music, and twice to try rapping, said Hargrove, who was “baffled” about the motive for the shooting.

Hargrove said he left the studio around 3 p.m. Monday and that a group of nine or 10 people, including Arsenault, went there Monday night for a recording session. He said the people had been introduced to one another, but were not necessarily friends.

“It was truly, truly a tragedy. The young man did not deserve this,” said Hargrove, who has two sons, one of whom graduated from Portland High School. “Everyone connected with the studio is sad and confused. Everyone, including myself, is in the dark about what happened.”

Hargrove said his business partner and cousin, Neeko Brown, let the group into the studio Monday night. It’s not uncommon for people to show up, even after midnight, to record music. People can either book the space or show up spontaneously.

Hargrove, who books hip-hop concerts and performs with Brown in a hip-hop group called Da Block Boyz, said he prides himself on making sure that the only thing happening in his studio is people getting together to make music.

“All the rumors you are seeing on social media that it was a gang member, it’s just not the case,” Hargrove said. “I may have guys who come and don’t like each other, but once you are inside the studio we make it clear that we have a zero tolerance for any (expletive). I want to assure everyone that the only thing going on in that studio is music.”

Staff Writer Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

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