Austin police officers fatally shot an armed man in an alley outside a nightclub where rapper NBA Youngboy was performing early Friday morning, police said.
Police have not officially identified the man but his family did on social media, as did NBA Youngboy.
“We from the same hood same street he way came way out to Austin, Texas, to support me,” the rapper from Baton Rogue posted on his Instagram.
Aquantis “Ajay” Griffin, 21, was identified by his father Sheldon Griffin who found out his son was dead via social media posts.
Griffin’s girlfriend and mother of his child posted to Facebook.
Austin Police Department Assistant Chief Troy Gay said eight officers fired at Griffin; Gay did not identify him. Gay said multiple cameras captured the incident. He said it’s not clear whether he fired at police, but he was running with a gun “pointed toward the direction” of where police were, Gay said.
Gay said it was a “tragic, sad day.”
All eight officers have been placed on administrative leave as the incident is investigated. One of the officers used a taser, not a gun, Gay said.
Gay repeated a number of times that many cameras recorded the incident and need to all be examined. At a pre-dawn media briefing on Friday, Gay said three 911 calls were received between around 12:20 a.m. and 12:39 a.m. concerning a fight that broke out inside the venue at the club Terminal 6 on East Sixth Street in downtown Austin.
NBA Youngboy was slated to perform at the concern, an 18-and-over event dubbed a “Back to School” show.
Gay said that officers posted in the area arrived at the club and based on “the size of the crowd,” called for backup and for the Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission and the Austin fire marshal to come to the scene.
At around 1 .m., Gay said, 911 calls of shots fired behind the club came in, and officers responded to the alley where the shots were heard coming from. He said there were reports of two men firing guns. Gay said police arrived and heard the gunshots and while not going in the alley, saw an individual running toward them with a gun. He reiterated that the man was armed and said the gun was pointed in the direction of the area where officers were. He said police gave “multiple commands” to the man and then, eight officers fired on him and he “went down.” One of he cops used a taser not a gun. Gay said officers performed life-saving measures and he was transported to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 1:22 a.m., Gay said.
The shooting is under investigation by the Austin Office of Police Monitoring, the Austin police special investigation internal affairs office and the Travis County District Attorney, Gay said.
Reports that the person was either a member of the Youngboy team, a friend or family member are not confirmed. The shooting may not be connected to the rapper.
NBA, or Never Broke Again, Youngboy was in hip-hop news Thursday after his longtime girlfriend, now pregnant, model and Instagram personality Jania Bania posted a video of herself crying and talking about suicide. XXL reported in March that the Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based rapper, born Kentrell Gaulden, was picked up in February for an alleged assault of Bania that took place in a Georgia hotel.
XXL reported the “violent altercation” between he and Bania was captured on hotel security video. “While she initially refuted claims that he assaulted her, the footage finds the 19-year-old 38 Baby rapper slamming his girlfriend to the ground outside of their room. She’s seen attempting to run away from him, but he tries pulling her back toward him roughly. During the commotion, hotel guests called the police, but YoungBoy and his girlfriend had fled the scene. Blood was found in the hotel room following the assault,” XXL reported.
Bania posted a video to Periscope where she claims they were just pushing each other.
Youngboy left for a Tallahassee, Florida gig but his bus was pulled over and he was arrested and charged with kidnapping and aggravated assault. Meanwhile, he had a suspended 10-year sentence for his involvement in a drive-by shooting in Louisiana. No one was killed in the incident, but the rapper had his probation revoked and did a few weeks in jail.
Youngboy has said that he’ll return to Bania when the case is resolved.
Youngboy too has said similar things albeit in his lyrics. And in interviews.
In his newly released video, “Drawing Symbols,” some lyrics point to either suicidal ideation or claims that he’ll be killed but says he’ll likely “do it myself.”
“To ones who wanna kill me …be my guest …cause I’m going to do it when the time is right…”
More and more people are posting about the events of Thursday night. Austin MC and show host Lil Mike tweeted about the concert, the fights and the shooting.
Lil Mike posted club security, “…searched everybody BUT his people and looks what happens…”
Meanwhile, NAB Youngboy dropped a new track on Instagram, “Dropout.”