- A Rolling Stone report has cast doubt on rapper DaBaby’s claim that he killed a teenager in 2018 in self-defense.
- New security camera footage of the incident shows DaBaby appearing to start the fight, per the outlet.
- Charges against the rapper were dropped in March 2019 after a key witness failed to turn up in court.
A new video obtained by Rolling Stone has cast doubt on controversial rapper DaBaby’s claim that he acted in self-defense when he shot and killed a teenager in 2018.
The artist — whose real name is Jonathan Kirk — was involved in a deadly altercation that resulted in the death of 19-year-old Jaylin Craig. However, the charges against Kirk were dismissed in March 2019 after a key witness failed to show up in court.
On Sunday, Rolling Stone published a previously unreleased video clip of the incident, which took place on November 5, 2018, at a Walmart in North Carolina.
In the clip, Jonathan “DaBaby” Kirk, along with teenagers Henry Douglas and Craig, are seen fighting. Kirk appears to have started the altercation by charging at Douglas.
At one point, Craig is seen standing off to the side while Kirk charges at Douglas, tackling him and striking him.
Craig then appears to pull out a gun, though it is unclear if he puts it away. Kirk is then seen taking out his gun and firing several shots.
—philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) April 25, 2022
Kirk’s version of events painted a different picture of the incident. He said in a social media video in 2018 that he had been confronted by weapon-wielding individuals who could have harmed him, his daughter, and his son.
“Daughter could have got hit, son could have got hit [and] me,” DaBaby said. “Fuckin’ lawyers telling me not to say something and shit, fuck all that. Two n—– walk down on you and your whole motherfucking family, threaten y’all, whip out on y’all, n—-, let me see what y’all gon’ do.”
Rolling Stone spoke to Todd Owens, a defense lawyer, and former North Carolina district court judge, who said that what was seen in the video does weaken Kirk’s claim that he was in danger.
“Going up and pushing a person who is brandishing a firearm, or who she can see has a firearm is really, really risky business,” Owens said. “That completely undermines that legal theory.”
Legal analyst Emily Baker told Rolling Stone that the situation might not be so clear-cut because witnesses claimed to have seen Craig with a gun, despite Kirk appearing to be the one who started the fight.
“It is not a ‘These people rolled up on me and tried to roll me, and I had to defend myself,'” Baker told Rolling Stone. “That’s not what this video shows. This video shows a fight that got way out of hand very fast, and that resulted in somebody dying.”
Rolling Stone also ran a statement from a representative for the district attorney’s office, which noted it had “reviewed the police investigative file” and agreed with the police not to charge Mr. Kirk further. This was due to the fact that prosecutors could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did not act in self-defense.”
Representatives for the rapper did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.
Earlier this month, Kirk was embroiled in another shooting incident, this time involving a man whom he shot outside his home.