PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Up-and-coming Pittsburgh rapper Jimmy Wopo was shot and killed during a double drive-by shooting in the Hill District on Monday afternoon.
Pittsburgh Police say two people were rushed to the hospital following the shooting, and later said one of the victims died.
Following the shooting, the manager of the 21-year-old rapper, whose real name was Travon Smart, confirmed that his client was wounded in the shooting.
He later confirmed that Wopo was the one who passed away from his injuries. In a Facebook post, Wopo’s manager said: “I lost my brother today and it’s the worst feeling in the world. He was destined for greatness and he wanted the best for his friends, family and community. We lost a great person today, but just know I will do everything in my power to make his memory live on forever. Love you bro #LongLiveWopo”
I lost my brother today and it’s the worst feeling in the world. He was destined for greatness and he wanted the best…
The Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office said Wopo was pronounced dead at 5:56 p.m. at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital.
Later Monday evening, Pittsburgh rappers Wiz Khalifa and Mac Miller took to social media to post remembrances to their friend. Khalifa posting to Facebook: “Rest up bro.” And Miller tweeting a broke heart emoji.
— Mac (@MacMiller) June 19, 2018
Rapper Juicy J tweeted his condolences:
R.I.P. Jimmy Wopo
— juicy j (@therealjuicyj) June 18, 2018
Pittsburgh rapper Chevy Woods tweeted, “Damn cuz … Rest up.”
Damn cuz … Rest up @jimmywopo_ ??
— Chevy Woods (@CHEVYWOODS) June 18, 2018
Grammy-nominated music producer Johnny Juliano tweeted: “prayers going out to Jimmy Wopo.”
Prayers going out to @jimmywopo_
— Johnny Juliano (@JohnnyJuliano) June 18, 2018
Officials say the drive-by shooting happened at 4:22 p.m. in the 2400 block of Wylie Avenue, between Chauncey and Duff Streets.
UPDATE: Two men wounded in drive-by shooting on Wylie Ave in the Hill District. One critical, the other stable pic.twitter.com/qkd1a65rze
— Ralph Iannotti (@IannottiRalph) June 18, 2018
According to investigators, Wopo and the other victim were riding in a white Mazda SUV when they were shot at close range. Police found the vehicle in the middle of the street.
They were taken to nearby hospitals for treatment. Wopo was listed in critical condition, and later pronounced dead. The other man was in stable condition.
“Two male victims both transported to the hospital. An investigation is underway,” said Alicia George, Pittsburgh Police spokesperson. “This was an isolated incident, an apparent drive-by.”
At the scene, police cordoned off the area to look for evidence and went door-to-door interviewing neighbors about anything they saw or heard.
Two bullet holes could be seen in the driver’s side window of the SUV before it was towed away.
One witness who lives on the street said the victims’ vehicle was being followed. The second vehicle pulled along side it, fired two shots and then fled.
Trey Wilson, who lives nearby the scene, told KDKA-TV’s Ralph Iannotti, “I was just with him last week and he gave me inspiration about the music, ’cause I rap, too.”
Another follower, Tier McCullough said, “It’s just hard, making the whole Hill District look bad, you know.”
As police finished canvassing the neighborhood and then cleared the scene, a Focus Pittsburgh trauma response team parked their RV on the street, and volunteers went door to door, and talked to neighbors about what happened. The unit is sponsored by the Allegheny County Health Department and McAuley Ministries.
Rev. Paul Abernathy, of Focus Pittsburgh, said, “Our volunteer response team talks to people, they give people space to heal, room to grieve as they see fit.”
Wopo began his recording career when he was 14 at the Bedford Hope Center Creative Arts Corner recording studio, not far from where the musician lived with his family.
Michelle Sandidge, of the City of Pittsburgh Housing Authority, said, “It’s a sad day in the city when young people succumb to violence. We are saddened, the Housing Authority is saddened that it was someone who came through our program. Our hearts go out to Wopo’s family and his friends.”
The investigation conditions.