Rapper Young Dolph, known for hit albums 'Rich Slave' died in a fatal shooting in his hometown Memphis, Tennessee, on Wednesday, according to Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn "CJ" Davis. Young Dolph, whose real name was Adolph Robert Thornton Jr., was 36. According to police, the rapper was buying cookies at Makeda's Homemade Butter Cookies in Memphis when someone drove up and shot him.
Police have launched an investigation but not arrests have been made yet. Also, no suspect information is available at this time, according to Davis. As the investigation continues, police have encouraged Memphis citizens to stay calm.
Young Dolph was shot in broad daylight and the suspect fled the scene in the car, according to police. Local station FOX13 reported that his death was confirmed by three independent law enforcement sources. Later on Wednesday afternoon, Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland confirmed his death in a tweet.
The owner of the store, Maurice Hill, told the outlet that Young Dolph had walked into the store and was buying cookies when someone drove up, shot and killed him around 1 pm.
"This shooting 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," Davis said.
"All of us at APA are shocked and deeply saddened by the sudden and tragic loss of our dear friend and client, Young Dolph," an APA representative said in a statement to Variety.
"The world has lost an icon, a great man and beloved artist who has been taken too soon. 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."
Police haven't named any suspect and are yet to make any arrest. Young Dolph was a popular name in Memphis. In fact he love the city so much that he even named his 2016 debut studio album "King of Memphis." The album reached No. 49 on the Billboard 200 chart, a record he beat in 2020 with his seventh album, "Rich Slave," which reached No. 4.
Besides, he had other hit album including "Blue Diamonds," and "RNB" featuring Megan Thee Stallion.
Young Dolph was born in Chicago but moved to Memphis at a young age. He was the cousin of rapper Juice Wrld, who died at 21 of a drug overdose at Chicago's Midway International Airport on December 8, 2019.
The rapper had earlier survived a similar attack four years back. In September 2017, he was shot outside a retail store in Hollywood. He suffered three gunshot wounds and had to be hospitalized in critical condition. He had to spend several weeks in the hospital recovering from the gunshot wounds.
Footage of police at the scene of the shooting quickly went viral on social media, where fans reacted with horror to Dolph's death and mourned his loss.
Among the artists sharing tributes on social media was three-time Grammy winner Megan Thee Stallion, who worked with the rapper on his 2020 song "RNB" and posted on Instagram: "Everybody that know me knows I play this man music EVERY DAY ! He was so genuine so real so kind to me and tfarris always !!! Rest In Peace to a real legend."
Grammy-nominated rapper Gucci Mane, tweeted, "R. I.P. to my friend Dolph this broke my heart," and Chance The Rapper added his own Twitter tribute: "God bless Dolph ...Real independent Memphis rapper born in chicago. loved by millions of ppl. Always showed love everytime I seen him this is tragic God bless his family man."