Police in Tennessee Monday announced that they’ve tied the car involved in the killing of rapper Young Dolph to a different deadly shooting that took place days earlier.
The previous attack left a woman dead and another person wounded days before the ambush on the 36-year-old hip-hop artist at a local bakery in Memphis.
Two men exited a white Mercedes-Benz and fired shots into the business where Young Dolph was buying cookies Wednesday and killed him, Memphis police said. Police previously released photos taken from surveillance video that captured the shooting. One suspect is seen in gray sweatpants and a blue hoodie holding a firearm with two hands. Another suspect in gray sweatpants a black hoodie and a black baseball cap joins him firing a handgun into the establishment.
Both arrived and took off quickly from the scene in a white Mercedes that has reportedly been tied to another crime. Despite the video showing the duo and the car, no suspect information has been released and no arrests have been made.
The same car was used in a Nov. 12 shooting in the city of Covington, located about 40 miles north of Memphis, Capt. Jack Howell of the Covington Police Department told The Associated Press.
Howell said the Mercedes followed another vehicle out of a nighttime high school football game. At an intersection, two people got out of the Mercedes and fired about 40 rounds from high-powered rifles into the other car, Howell said.
Two women were shot. One woman died of her wounds, and the other woman remains hospitalized, Howell said. Covington police are working with Memphis authorities and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation on the search for the suspects, who are believed to be from the Memphis area, Howell said.
Evidence found in the Mercedes when it was located in a Memphis neighborhood Saturday tied the car to both shootings, Howell said.
“The car connected with our shooting is also connected with the shooting in Memphis regarding the rapper,” Howell said.
Young Dolph, whose real name was Adolph Johnston Jr., had been in his hometown of Memphis to participate in Thanksgiving turkey giveaways and visit a cancer center. Friends and associates handed out turkeys, stuffing mix and cranberry sauce at a Memphis church Friday, an event the 36-year-old rapper helped organize and was supposed to attend.
Young Dolph was shot at Makeda’s Cookies, a beloved, family-owned bakery known for its tasty butter cookies and banana pudding. The bakery was a favorite of the rapper, who regularly visited it when he was in the city.
The department added in a statement posted to Twitter that Dolph’s purported murder is “another example of the senseless gun violence we are experiencing locally and nationwide. Our hearts go out to the Thornton family and all who are affected by this horrific act of violence.”
A representative for the artist, whose real name is Adolph Robert Thornton, Jr., told Variety in a statement that they are “shocked and deeply saddened by the sudden and tragic loss of our dear friend and client, Young Dolph.”
“The world has lost an icon, a great man and beloved artist who has been taken too soon,” it adds. “His dedication, drive, hard work and loyalty to all those around him always came first and he will be deeply missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family at this most difficult time.”
The store where he was shot, which is near Memphis International Airport, remained boarded up and could be closed for the rest of the year, the bakery’s management has said.
A second location in downtown Memphis reopened to customers Monday. More than $85,000 has been donated online in support of the bakery, which is named after a 6-year-old girl who died of cancer.
Fans of the cookie shop, which also sells its products in grocery stores and caters events, say it is an important part of the community.
Julian Boyd, a co-owner of D’Bos Wings N More restaurant, said the Black-owned bakery was popular among celebrities and regular folks alike.
“As a community, we have to do a better job of loving and supporting our Black-owned businesses instead of inflicting violence in them,” Boyd said. “All of the attention that this beautiful Black-owned business is getting is going to be directly related with gun violence. That’s terrible.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.