Sources on social media are posting that Diamond Blue “Baby Blue” Smith of the group Pretty Ricky and “Love & Hip Hop: Miami” was shot during an attempted robbery on April 19, 2021, at a bowling alley in Florida.
Smith’s team sent a direct message to Hollywood Unlocked confirming that Smith was shot during a failed robbery attempt by two armed men during his release party for his new single “Jerry Rice.”
“According to #BabyBlueWhoaaa’s team, the #PrettyRicky artist was recently shot in Florida during an attempted robbery,” Hollywood Unlocked posted on Instagram two days after the incident. “Let’s take this time to send love and prayers to him as he’s in a hospital fighting for his life.”
The Davie [Florida] Police Department released information about the incident but didn’t name Smith as the victim. According to a press release from the police, two victims were in the parking lot of Sparez Bowling Alley next to their vehicles when two suspects approached. As a suspect tried to take a victim’s gold chain during a physical altercation, a suspect’s gun was fired and struck a victim in his left shoulder, police said. The press release stated that the victim who was shot went to the hospital in critical condition.
TMZ reported that they spoke with Smith’s brother, who said the rapper was shot after grabbing the gun in an effort to protect his cousin, who was the other victim at the scene.
Smith Kept Fans in the Loop via Social Media During Week-Long Hospital Stay
Even while in the hospital recovering from his gunshot wound, Smith took to Instagram and Twitter to keep his followers up to date on his status.
“Be filling this big a bucket up everyday with blood out my lungs! One of my lungs still deflated,” he wrote in an April 24 post, which included a video showing the machine draining blood from his chest. Smith noted in the same post that this is the second time in his life that he’s been shot.
According to the Miami Herald, Smith was released out of the hospital by April 26. The Herald added that as of April 27, the police investigation was still “active.”
Diamond Blue Smith Facing Prison Time Over COVID-19 Relief Loan
In October 2020, Smith was charged with wire fraud, bank fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud after being accused of participating in a $24 million scam. Smith was accused of taking out a Paycheck Protection Program loan from the Small Business Administration using fake documents, the Department of Justice reported.
Smith is accused of taking out a loan of $426,717 for his company, Throwbackjersey.com LLC, and then another loan of $708,065 for record label, Blue Star Records LLC, all using falsified documents, the DOJ said. The 36-year-old rapper was accused of purchasing a $96,000 Ferrari with the money as well as withdrawing $271,805 from his loan payout. The Ferrari was seized when he was arrested.
When The Shade Room posted about the charges, Smith commented about his first day in court and maintained his innocence.
“Had a good 1st day in court,” he wrote in the comment section. “Facing life in prison but #ImInnocent. Everything ain’t always what it seems.”
Smith is one of 12 people accused of participating in the scam. One of the other people arrested and charged was NFL player Joshua Bellamy. The criminal complaint stated that Bellamy was “charged in a federal criminal complaint filed on September 9, 2020, in the Southern District of Florida with wire fraud, bank fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud.” Bellamy secured a $1 million loan on behalf of his company, Drip Entertainment. According to the complaint, the company was incorporated in 2018 but later dissolved in 2019. When he applied for the loan through the Paycheck Protection Program, Bellamy claimed that his company had 47 employees and had a quarterly payroll of $1.5 million.
The complaint also stated that all 12 of the conspirators had planned or prepared 90 fraudulent applications worth $24 million. Out of the 90 applications, 42 of them were approved and $17.4 million was disbursed.
The Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program is a part of The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The CARES Act is a federal law that provides emergency financial assistance to people who are suffering financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The CARES Act also authorized $349 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses through the PPP program.