Who shot the rapper Dolla?
Dolla, an up and coming rapper from Atlanta, was shot in the head and killed in a brawl outside of a shopping mall in Los Angeles on Monday, May 18th. The shooting allegedly occured shortly after 3:00 PM near the La Cienega Boulevard entrance to the Beverly Center in Los Angeles, after a fight between a group of individuals broke out. Some witnesses report that a woman was seen firing a handgun. Another source told TMZ that a male suspect was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport as he attempted to board a flight — we now know the identity of the male suspect.
The Los Angeles Police Department did not immediately release the identity of the victim — the story was instead broken by his publicist, Sue Vannasing.
Dolla, whose real name is Roderick Anthony Burton II, was 21 years old at the time of his death. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Dolla was shot while waiting for friends at the Beverly Center’s mall valet — Dolla was with fellow rappers DJ Shabbazz and Scrapp DeLeon. Dolla’s publicist said that just before the shooting a man and a woman were seen “trailing” the rapper. As of this writing, Los Angeles Police have “two persons of interest” in custody. The cops picked up one man at the ticketing area of the Los Angeles International Airport with a gun in his possession. As of this morning, the man in custody, Aubrey Berry, has been charged with murder — TMZ was the first to release the identity of the suspect.
Writing on his Myspace page, Dolla said “My music is universal. I can do street music or pop music. But whatever I do, I attempt to make meaningful songs with substance.” Dolla had a couple of releases under his belt, but was still hard at work on his first album for Konvict Music Records.
In fact, Dolla was in Los Angeles to continue work on his much anticipated debut album, A Dolla & A Dream. The rapper was born in Chicago, but his family relocated to Atlanta when he was five after the suicide of his father. Dolla was first a member of the Elektra Records signed group known as “Da Razkalz Kru”. After breaking with “Da Razkalz”, Dolla worked his way up the Atlanta hip hop scene, building reptutation and talent. He was eventually recruited by Sean Combs (“P. Diddy”) to be a model for Combs’ Sean John fashion line. Around the same time as Dolla began to work with Combs, the rapper hooked up with Akon, who quickly signed Dolla to the Konvict Music Records label early in 2007. At this time, Dolla recorded the hit “Who the F*** Is That?” with the artist T Pain. The song reached Number 82 on the Billboard Hot 100. Dolla’s follow-up single “Feelin’ Myself” was featured on the soundtrack of the film Step Up. Dolla’s publicist released a statement after the shooting, saying that Dolla ” . . . had a very promising career. He was being hyped as the next Tupac [Shakur]. He chose music to get off the streets.” While the comparison to Tupac may be a bit too much, we won’t ever know now how much talent Dolla had.
According to TMZ, the police picked up Aubrey Berry at LAX airport. Aubrey Berry is believed to have dropped off a rental car before he was found at the airport with a handgun. Airport police spokesman Sergeant Jim Holcomb told the media: “As the officers approached the suspect, they asked him ‘Do you know why we’re here?’ ” According to Holcomb, Berry then put his hands up in the air and said, “Yes, I’ve got a gun in my waistband. Don’t shoot me.” Police recovered a loaded 9mm semiautomatic handgun from Berry, who is currently being held in Los Angeles county on $1 million bail.
Los Angeles Police Sergeant Ronnie Crump insisted that the other unknown people with the alleged gunman are also “persons of interest”, though no arrests have been made thus far. It was not clear how many people were with the gunman or what the argument was about.