A Tennessee man wanted in the fatal shooting of rapper Young Dolph in his hometown of Memphis was arrested in Indiana on Tuesday, while another man was charged with murder, authorities said.
A grand jury has indicted Cornelius Smith, 32, on first-degree murder and other charges in the shooting that killed Young Dolph, in Shelby County, Tennessee, the prosecution said. Smith, who was arrested last month on a car theft warrant related to the vehicle used in Young Dolph’s murder, was held without bail.
Separately, the US Marshals Service said Justin Johnson, 23, had been arrested after a murder warrant was issued against him earlier this month. The agency did not say where in Indiana Johnson was found.
Young Dolph, whose real name is Adolph Thornton Jr. was shot in a daylight ambush in a popular cookie shop on Nov. 17.
US Marshal Tyreece Miller, Memphis Police Chief CJ Davis and Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich said they would hold a joint press conference on Wednesday to provide more details.
The shooting stunned Memphis and shocked the entertainment world. City officials and community activists pointed to the murder as a symbol of the dangers of gun violence in Memphis, where more than 300 murders were reported last year.
Known for his depictions of harsh street life and his independent approach to the music business, Young Dolph was admired for his charity work in Memphis. He hosted Thanksgiving food giveaways, donated thousands of dollars to high schools, and paid rent and covered funeral expenses for people in the Castalia Heights neighborhood where he grew up. When he was murdered, the 36-year-old rapper was in Memphis handing out Thanksgiving turkeys and visiting a cancer center.
A private funeral was held on November 30, and on December 15, part of a street near where he grew up was renamed for him. He was also honored at a public celebration at FedExForum, home of the NBA’s Memphis Grizzles and the University of Memphis men’s basketball team.
Young Dolph was born in Chicago and moved to Memphis with his parents when he was 2. He has released numerous mixtapes, starting with 2008’s “Paper Route Campaign” and multiple studio albums, including his 2016 debut “King of Memphis.” He has also collaborated on other mixtapes and albums with fellow rappers Key Glock, Megan Thee Stallion. , TI, Gucci Mane, 2 Chainz and others.
He had three albums that reached the top 10 of the Billboard 200, with 2020’s “Rich Slave” peaking at number 4.
Young Dolph had survived previous shootings. He was shot multiple times in September 2017 after a fight outside a Los Angeles hotel. In February of that year, his SUV was shot at more than 100 times in Charlotte, North Carolina. That was the inspiration for the song ‘100 Shots’. He said he survived because he had bulletproof panels in his vehicle.
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