Memphis police release photos of suspects in shooting death of rapper Young Dolph

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As police in Memphis, Tenn. continue to investigate the shooting death of influential rapper Young Dolph at a popular cookie shop, officials have released new images taken from surveillance cameras of the suspects wanted in the shooting.

On Wednesday afternoon, police say suspects arrived at Makeda’s Homemade Butter Cookies on Airways Boulevard in Memphis in a white, two-door Mercedes Benz. Police allege the suspects then approached the victim while he was inside the store and shot him before fleeing the scene in the same white vehicle.

When officers arrived at the bakery, they found Young Dolph unresponsive lying on the floor inside. He’d been shot multiple times. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Fans of Young Dolph set up a memorial outside of Makeda's Cookies bakery in Memphis, Tennessee after the rapper, born Adolph Thorton Jr., was killed at the age of 36 in a shooting in front of Makeda's Cookies bakery.

A throng of the fiercely independent rapper’s supporters descended on the cookie shop after the shooting, and the business was boarded up late Wednesday. Police asked the public to remain calm and local leaders called for a curfew Wednesday night in fear of retaliatory violence. No curfew was issued.

At a news conference Wednesday evening, Memphis Police Director Cerelyn “CJ” Davis did not say if police think other shootings under investigation were related to the rapper’s killing.

Young Dolph was in Memphis doing charity work, including visiting a cancer-treatment centre and giving away turkeys at a church ahead of Thanksgiving. He had recently performed at a concert at the University of Memphis. The rapper had loyal fans in Memphis, where they admired him for his success and love for the city. Some fans wept as they gathered outside the bakery.

Fans of Young Dolph set up a memorial outside of Makeda's Cookies bakery in Memphis, Tennessee after the rapper, born Adolph Thorton Jr., was killed at the age of 36 in a shooting in front of Makeda's Cookies bakery.

JB Smiley Jr., a member of Memphis City Council, issued a statement calling on the city to issue a curfew.

“I’m grieving like every other Memphian right now. Yet another tragedy, yet another murder due to senseless gun violence. Today, we lost a very talented Memphian and a star known all across this country,” Smiley wrote.

Like the Los Angeles rapper Nipsey Hussle, who was killed in 2019, Young Dolph pursued an independent approach to the music business. His Paper Route Empire label retained control over his music. “I just got another vision for it — strictly 100 per cent ownership,” he said in 2018 minidocumentary co-produced by his label, titled “Turned Dirt Into Diamonds.” “A lot of people, they can’t see what I see.”

“God bless Dolph,” tweeted Chance the Rapper. “Real independent Memphis rapper born in chicago. loved by millions of ppl.”

Young Dolph performs at The Parking Lot Concert in Atlanta on Aug. 23, 2020. Officials say the rapper was fatally shot at a cookie shop in his hometown of Memphis, Tenn.

Born in Chicago as Adolph Thornton Jr., Young Dolph moved to Memphis as a toddler, according to The Commercial Appeal. He said in the documentary that he’d been raised by his grandmother and tried to help his parents “clean their life up” once he found success.

He released numerous mixtapes, starting with 2008′s “Paper Route Campaign,” and multiple studio albums, including his 2016 debut “King of Memphis.” He also collaborated on other mixtapes and albums with fellow rappers Key Glock, Megan Thee Stallion, T.I., Gucci Mane, 2 Chainz and others.

Young Dolph had three albums reach the top 10 on the Billboard 200, with 2020′s “Rich Slave” peaking at No. 4.

A crowd gathered at the scene where rapper Young Dolph was killed at a cookie shop in Memphis, Tenn. on Nov. 17, 2021. Young Dolph, widely admired in the hip-hop community for his authenticity and fierce independence, was shot and killed while inside the store.

Young Dolph had survived previous shootings. He was shot multiple times in Sept. 2017 after a fight outside a Los Angeles hotel. In February of that year, his SUV was shot at in Charlotte, N.C., more than 100 times. The incident was the inspiration for the song “100 Shots.” He said he survived because he had bulletproof panels in his vehicle, The Commercial Appeal reported.

Fellow industry artists, athletes and fans quickly posted condolences on social media after learning about his death.

“I am sooo sick rn I am in disbelief! Praying for his family and friends! Rest In Peace to my friend a true legend dolph,” rapper Megan Thee Stallion tweeted.

“R.I.P. to my friend Dolph this broke my heart,” Gucci Mane posted on Twitter.

The rapper’s talent agency, APA, said it was shocked and saddened by his death.

“The world has lost an icon, a great man and beloved artist who has been taken too soon,” the agency said in a statement. “His dedication, drive, hard work and loyalty to all those around him always came first and he will be deeply missed.”

Memphis police say no arrests have been made and the investigation is ongoing.

With files from The Associated Press.

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