Tekashi69 'Known Associate' to Guy Who Tailed Chief Keef Prior to NYC Shooting

6/19/2018 9:57 AM PDT

Tekashi69 is 'Known Associate' to Person of Interest in Chief Keef Shooting

EXCLUSIVE

Tekashi69 has a direct connection to a person of interest in the Chief Keef shooting in NYC ... TMZ has learned.

Law enforcement sources tell us ... NYPD investigators are calling Tekashi a "known associate" of one of 2 men seen on surveillance cameras tracking Keef around NYC in the hours before someone opened fire on him outside the W Hotel.

TMZ broke the story ... NYPD was taking a closer look at 6ix9ine's potential ties to the men who followed Keef from a downtown Manhattan restaurant, and then uptown to the W in Times Square. 

We're told police are calling the men "persons of interest" in the attempted shooting of Keef. It's unclear if there's video showing them actually firing at, but missing Keef.

Keef and Tekashi have been beefing on social media for months.

However, Tekashi's camp tells us he was in L.A. at the time of the shooting. When he was on "TMZ Live," he denied any involvement in the incident, and downplayed any static with Keef.