Memphis leaders call for peace after Young Dolph’s fatal shooting
City Councilman J.B. Smiley wants "a curfew to preserve the safety of all citizens" as cops seek Dolph's killer.
Leaders in Memphis, Tennessee, are calling for peace after the fatal shooting of Young Dolph in his hometown on Wednesday afternoon.
As previously reported, the rapper was shot and killed outside of Makeda’s Cookies, a shop near Memphis International Airport he frequently patronized when in town from Atlanta, where he resided.
TMZ asserts that Dolph — born Adolph Robert Thornton Jr. — was in Memphis for an annual Thanksgiving giveaway; a local newspaper says he had returned to visit a cancer-stricken aunt. The rap star was expected at St. James Missionary Baptist Church on Friday between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to give out the turkeys, according to a report from FOX13.
In the wake of his murder, Mayor Jim Strickland tweeted, “The tragic shooting death of rap artist Young Dolph serves as another reminder of the pain that violent crime brings with it. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.”
Strickland asked for “calm in our city to allow the Memphis Police Department to do their duty to capture those responsible.”
According to KFVS 12, City Councilman J.B. Smiley has called for “a curfew to preserve the safety of all citizens.”
“I’m grieving like every other Memphian right now,” Smiley said in a statement. “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 also referred to reports of additional shootings. There was another shooting in the city hours after Young Dolph’s murder, but no one was injured; it’s unclear if the shootings were connected. However, The Commercial Appeal, a Memphis-focused news outlet, reports that rumors of additional shootings were swirling on social media, further raising alarm.
Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn C.J. Davis stopped short of Smiley’s curfew request but encouraged citizens to “stay home if you do not have to be out.”
Smiley said he’s “growing tired of issuing statements that speak to or highlight crime in our communities.” The councilman, asserted that “change” is necessary, adding, “Until that change comes, I ask that you exercise care and caution in the days to come. Make smart decisions and be safe.”
State representative London Lamar also called for a curfew, writing on Twitter Wednesday, “Thank you Mayor! I appreciate you speaking out! Let’s also add a citywide curfew tonight! My fear is that many people are hurting and the violence will continue!”
Some of the biggest names in hip-hop have taken to social media to pay their respects to Young Dolph.
Megan Thee Stallion, featured on Dolph’s 2020 track “RNB” on his Rich Slave album, was one of several prominent MCs to express shock and sadness about the news on social media. “I’m so sick [right now] I am in disbelief,” Meg tweeted Wednesday afternoon. “Praying for his family and friends! Rest In Peace to my friend a true legend dolph.”
While Gucci Mane, who recently tapped Dolph and 2 Chainz for features on his single “Top of Sh–,” for his LP Ice Daddy, wrote, “R.I.P. to my friend Dolph. This broke my heart.”
The slain 36-year-old rapper, a father of two, spent nearly a decade pumping out mixtapes and underground hits in the rap game before releasing his debut studio album, King of Memphis, in 2016. He and fellow Memphis rapper Yo Gotti helped put their city on the hip-hop map before the rise of younger Memphis hitmakers like Moneybagg Yo and NLE Choppa.
This article features additional reporting from theGrio’s Ny Magee and Chauncey Alcorn.