Police investigating rappers’ ties to shootings around Miami
Sunny Isles Beach, Fla. – A weekend of shootings involving rap musicians and their entourages in South Florida for a huge hip-hop festival left two people dead and four wounded, multiple vehicles riddled with bullets and at least seven people detained for questioning.
Police agencies across South Florida worked the crime scenes and appealed for help in identifying those responsible for the violence surrounding the Rolling Loud Festival, which was held Friday through Sunday at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.
“There are a lot of unanswered questions,” Miami-Dade police spokesman Alvaro Zabaleta told reporters.
Meanwhile, rapper Kodak Black was expected in court Monday after being arrested at the festival on a weapons charge on Saturday, and headliner Lil’ Wayne was a no-show Saturday night, explaining on social media that he refused to be searched by security or police in order to enter the venue.
Police were questioning at least seven people detained in a Sunday afternoon shooting outside Trump International Beach Resort Miami, where 19-year-old Kaylyn Marie Long – identified by The Miami Herald as rapper NBA YoungBoy’s girlfriend – was wounded. The same gunfire also killed 43-year-old Mohamad Jradi, who was struck in the head while sitting in his van across the street from the resort in Sunny Isles Beach. Another bullet grazed a 5-year-old boy who was treated and released by paramedics at the scene. Long was taken to a hospital for treatment.
Detectives said several cars also were struck by bullets outside the Trump resort, and in a nearby shooting about the same time, another person was wounded by bullets at the entrance of the William Lehman Causeway, which links Sunny Isles Beach to the mainland across the Intracoastal Waterway.
NBA YoungBoy, whose real name is Kentrell DeSean Gaulden, was on Sunday’s lineup of performers. Investigators seized several firearms found at the resort and issued a Be On the Lookout bulletin for a silver GMC Yukon seen at the site of the shooting, Zabaleta said in a news release.
Later Sunday, the vehicle was stopped as it tried to enter a parking lot at the music festival, and police detained four men inside.
The multiple crime scenes jammed traffic on Mother’s Day, and capped a busy weekend for police.
On Saturday, Chicago rapper AAB Hellabandz, 24, whose real name was Ameer Golston, was fatally shot outside the Cameo nightclub on Miami Beach, and a second person was hospitalized, with no arrests made so far. Golston was not on the list of performers at the festival, and Miami Beach police spokesman Ernesto Rodriguez said he’s not aware of any direct connection.
Hours later, Kodak Black, whose real name is Bill Kapri, was arrested at the festival on a weapons charge, according to the U.S. Marshals Service. It adds to a lengthy rap sheet for Kapri, 21, whose initial appearance was scheduled for Monday in federal court in Miami. Black was most recently arrested last month on drugs and weapons charges as he crossed from Canada into the U.S. near Niagara Falls, N.Y. Court records don’t list a defense attorney.
The festival’s highlight was supposed to be Saturday night’s appearance by Lil’ Wayne, who has sold more than 100 million records worldwide. He later explained that he didn’t perform because he refused to be searched.
“To all my fans who came to see me at Rolling Loud, I’m sorry but I won’t be performing. The Festival Police (not Rolling Loud) made it mandatory that I had to be policed and checked to get on the stadium grounds. I do not and will not ever settle for being policed to do my job,” Lil’ Wayne said on Twitter.
Lil’ Wayne, whose real name is Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., tweeted that he performed later at the Story nightclub in Miami Beach instead.