Young rapper Tyriece Travon Watson had just finished hosting a charity basketball game calling for “peace in the streets” Friday when he was fatally shot.
Better known as Lor Scoota, the rapper had organized the event to bring together music artists and prominent individuals from around Baltimore to prove they could get along. Minutes after he left the event, an unidentified black male wearing a white bandana jumped in front of his car and opened fire, said Baltimore police. He was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 8:30 p.m., according to CNN.
The shooter appeared to have targeted Lor Scoota, Baltimore police spokesman T.J. Smith told CNN. The police have not yet identified a motive or named any suspects.
Lor Scoota, 23, is most celebrated for his 2014 song “Bird Flu,” which accumulated over two million downloads on Soundcloud. According to Hot New Hip Hop, he had “emerged as one of the few Baltimore rappers with a chance of making it out.”
Tadeo, another artist who played in the charity game, said Lor Scoota may have been targeted for his rising fame.
“In Baltimore city, once you’re doing good, you’re a target,” Tadeo told The Washington Post. “You try to make it to the top, they’re pulling you down so you still here. That’s why they say once you do your thing, leave.”
Lor Scoota spent his free time speaking on panels about non-violence and visiting elementary schools to read to kids. A few months after the death of Freddie Gray, he recorded a series of PSAs “expressing understanding for those that were angry but also encouraging peace,” according to Baltimore’s City Paper.
“How am I supposed to live with all this death in my sight?” he once sang.
There was an “eerie irony” about the timing of Lor Scoota’s death, Smith told CNN. “This revolving door of death is something that’s despicable, and it’s leaving too many mothers to bury their children,” he added.
Prominent rappers and local celebrities—including Meek Mill and former Baltimore Raven Torrey Smith—took to social media to mourn.
“Another young one murdered,” he wrote below.
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