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Suspect arrested, man charged in death of rapper Young Dolph: NPR


Young Dolph was shot dead on November 17, 2021 in his hometown of Memphis.

Paul R. Giunta / Invision / AP


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Paul R. Giunta / Invision / AP

Suspect arrested, man charged in death of rapper Young Dolph: NPR

Young Dolph was shot dead on November 17, 2021 in his hometown of Memphis.

Paul R. Giunta / Invision / AP

INDIANAPOLIS – A Tennessee man wanted in the fatal shooting of rapper Young Dolph in his hometown of Memphis was captured in Indiana on Tuesday, while another man was charged with murder, authorities said.

A grand jury has indicted Cornelius Smith, 32, with first degree murder and other charges in the shooting that killed Young Dolph in Shelby County, Tennessee, the district attorney’s office said. Smith, who was arrested last month on a car theft warrant involving the vehicle used in Young Dolph’s murder, was being held without bail.

Separately, the US Marshals Service said Justin Johnson, 23, was arrested after a murder warrant was issued against him earlier this month. The agency did not say where in Indiana Johnson was found.

On November 17, young Dolph, real name Adolph Thornton Jr., was ambushed in broad daylight at a popular cookie factory.

U.S. Marshal Tyreece Miller, Memphis Police Chief CJ Davis and Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich said they would hold a joint press conference on Wednesday to provide more details.

The shooting stunned Memphis and shocked the entertainment world. City officials and community activists have called the murder a symbol of the dangers of gun violence in Memphis, where more than 300 homicides were reported last year.

Known for his depictions of difficult street life and his independent approach to the music world, Young Dolph was admired for his charities in Memphis. He organized Thanksgiving food gifts, donated thousands of dollars to high schools, paid rent, and covered funeral expenses for residents of the Castalia Heights neighborhood where he grew up. When he was killed, the 36-year-old rapper was in Memphis handing out Thanksgiving turkeys and visiting a cancer center.

A private funeral was held on November 30 and a section of a street in the neighborhood where he grew up was renamed in his honor on December 15. He was also honored at a public celebration at FedExForum, the home of the NBA Memphis Grizzles and the University of Memphis men’s basketball team.

Young Dolph was born in Chicago and moved to Memphis with his parents when he was 2 years old. He has released numerous mixtapes, starting with 2008’s “Paper Route Campaign” and several studio albums, including his first “King of Memphis” in 2016. He has also collaborated on other mixtapes and albums with other Key rappers. Glock, Megan Thee Stallion, TI, Gucci Mane, 2 Chainz and others.

He had three albums reaching the top 10 on the Billboard 200, with “Rich Slave” in 2020 peaking at No. 4.

Young Dolph had survived previous shootings. He was shot and killed several times in September 2017 after a fight outside a Los Angeles hotel. In February of the same year, his SUV was shot down in Charlotte, North Carolina more than 100 times. It was the inspiration for the song “100 Shots”.

He said he survived because he had bulletproof panels in his vehicle.


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