A Baltimore rapper was shot and killed in what police say was a “targeted” attack shortly after hosting a charity basketball game that was organized to “pray for peace” in the violence-plagued streets.
According to the Washington Post, rapper Lor Scoota — real name Tyriece Travon Watson — was shot and killed Saturday evening at a busy intersection in Baltimore. He was reportedly just a half-mile away from the arena where he had just hosted the charity basketball game when an as-yet-unidentified black male wearing a white bandana approached his car and opened fire at around 6:56 p.m.
The rapper was taken to a local hospital but later died of his injuries.
Scoota had just come from an event at the Morgan State University Hill Field House billed “Touch the People: Pray for Peace in These Streets.”
According to Baltimore’s City Paper, the 23-year-old rapper was a strong advocate of non-violence and was “frequently seen at community-oriented events” spreading his message.
During the unrest in Baltimore after the death of Freddie Gray, Scoota reportedly recorded a series of PSAs that aired on local radio stations urging non-violent solutions and “encouraging peace.”
The Baltimore Police Department said in a statement that it is investigating the incident as a “targeted attack.”
Baltimore police spokesman T.J. Smith took to Twitter on Saturday to urge anyone with information about the shooting to come forward.
“We have to be tired of this,” Smith wrote. “Can Scoota be a wake up call for us? He entertained many, now gone, just like that. We are better than this.”
Tributes quickly poured in for the slain rapper from Baltimore locals and fellow rappers, including Meek Mill and The Game.
“Another young one murdered,” The Game wrote on Instagram. “Just last year the lil homie @scootaupnext was over my left shoulder in the huddle working on#TheDocumentary2 everyday in Los Angeles……. Then this news hits me SMH. LIFE……… hold onto it, or you’ll lose it & everything in it in the blink of an eye.#RipLorScoota”
Scoota became a local celebrity in Baltimore in 2014 with his song “Bird Flu.” The song inspired its own “Bird Flu” dance craze.
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum