A popular Baltimore rapper was gunned down in broad daylight Saturday while driving his car in the northeast part of the city, police said.
Lor Scoota, 23, whose real name was Tyriece Travon Watson, died at a local hospital after he was shot once, the Baltimore Sun reports.
The shooting is under investigation.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. He Crashed His Car Into a Building After He Was Shot, Video Shows
Lor Scoota, real name Tyrice Travon Watson, was shot just before 7 p.m. Saturday while driving on Harford Road near Moravia Road, Baltimore Police said in a press release.
“Upon arrival, officers located an adult male who was suffering from at least one gunshot wound,” police said. “That victim was transported to an area hospital and was pronounced dead a short time later.”
A bystander shot a video of the aftermath of the shooting, including police and firefighters pulling his body from the mangled car. You can watch the video below (Warning – Graphic):
“Several witnesses have confirmed that the victim was driving eastbound on Moravia Road at Harford Road when an unknown suspect stepped into the street and opened fire at the victim,” police said. “Preliminarily, this appears to be a targeted incident.”
He was pronounced dead about 8:30 p.m., police said.
2. He Was at a Charity Basketball Game Promoting Peace in Baltimore Just Hours Before the Shooting
Lor Scoota was known for his work promoting peace and speaking out against violence in Baltimore. He also often spoke at local schools and youth groups, telling kids to stay in school.
Just hours before he was shot, Lor Scoota was hosting a charity basketball game promoting peace in the city, the Baltimore Sun reports.
“He was a young up-and-coming rapper who had appeared at several events, and the eerie irony that should just absolutely tick all of us off collectively, is that he was leaving a peace rally,” police spokesman TJ Smith said at a press conference.
The “Touch the People Pray for Peace in These Streets” charity game was held at Morgan State University.
“I am saddened to hear about the senseless murder of Tyrice “Lor Scoota” Watson,” Councilman Nick Mosby told WMAR-TV. “He had a heart for youth and took the time out of his schedule to join me on my #EyeAmBaltimore Tour to high schools in West Baltimore following last year’s uprising where he spoke about the importance of staying in school.”
Baltimore Police spokesman TJ Smith tweeted about the rapper’s death:
Smith added that everyone seemed to love Lor Scoota, and encouraged anyone with information about the shooting to come forward so detectives can identify the gunman.
“A lot of young people knew him, and looked up to him,” Smith said. “And whatever he might have been doing in the past, it appears he was doing some things to change his life and use those experiences to help empower other young people in our city of Baltimore.”
3. He Is Best Known for His Song ‘Bird Flu’
Lor Scoota was best known for his song “Bird Flu,” which he released in 2014 with Washington, D.C. rapper Shy Glizzy. You can watch the video for the song, which has nearly 1 million views on YouTube, above.
In a March article in the Baltimore City Paper about the politicization of hip-hop and how it was tied to the 2015 unrest following Freddie Gray’s death, J. Brian Charles wrote:
Amid the ascent of the Black Lives Matter movement, Baltimore rapper Lor Scoota weaves together a line about how the killings permeate social arrangements and social media on his song ‘Ready Or Not‘: ‘How I’m supposed to live with all this death in my sight/ Keep you niggas by your side because niggas dying left and right/ I see rest in peace on IG three times a night.’ The lyrics don’t condemn the killings. Not in the way Kendrick (Lamar) does on ‘The Blacker the Berry,’ where his condemnation of street violence comes wrapped in a broader denunciation of the community (“So why did I weep when Trayvon Martin was in the street, when gang banging made me kill a nigga blacker than me?”). But Lor Scoota doesn’t have the luxury to explicitly denounce violence or the community. He is still surrounded by that violence, still navigating the community. His political statement is about the cost of survival, the need to stay close to your friends, the mental toll of repeatedly seeing the death on Instagram.
Lor Scoota was signed to Young Ballers Shining Records and was also affiliated with Meek Mill’s Dreamchasers, according to XXL Mag.
You can listen to his music on Soundcloud here.
4. No Suspects Are in Custody, But Police Say the Gunman Was Wearing a White Bandana
Police have not made any arrests in the shooting. The suspect has been described as a black male who was wearing a white bandana over his face, WMAR-TV reports.
Homicide detectives are investigating.
“Whoever the shooter was, was targeting the victim,” police spokesman TJ Smith said Sunday at a press conference.
Police ask anyone with information to call detectives at 410-396-2100 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7LOCKUP.
“There are many who are going to scrutinize the lyrics in his songs and some of the activity that he might have been involved in the past. But the reality is he’s a victim and there’s a murderer on the street,” Smith said.
5. He Has Been Mourned by Fans, Politicians, Athletes & Fellow Musicians on Social Media
Lor Scoota’s name trended across the United States on Facebook and Twitter on Saturday and Sunday as he was mourned by fans, politicians, athletes and fellow musicians.
Funeral and memorial plans have not yet been made public.