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Darius “Young Dolph” McKnight was fatally shot while driving in Memphis, Tennessee, on Tuesday, according to the city’s mayor.
McKnight, whose real name was LaRon Bennett, was driving his Ford F-150 truck when he was approached by two men, who shot him several times, Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said in a statement. The assailants fled, authorities said.
Police responded to the area near a middle school about 12:20 p.m. and found a Ford F-150 with multiple bullet holes and McKnight, according to police. A witness told police the men appeared to be firing in the direction of the truck as the driver drove through the intersection.
“We have some concerns that it was accidental but we will not know until we are able to speak with Dolph himself,” the mayor said.
Police said McKnight had several injuries but declined to say how many times he was shot or provide his age. The Ford was found near his house.
McKnight, who is believed to be 36, rose to fame after being profiled in an episode of MTV’s reality show “The Real World: Memphis” in 2013.
“The Real World” exposed a tough side of McKnight, who is known for his swagger, smoking weed and fondness for flexing. “I’m from Memphis, you know what I’m saying?” he says in the episode. “If you don’t like it here, then I got somethin’ for you.”
McKnight’s family held a vigil near his family’s home on Tuesday night, according to NBC News.
“He would have rather been the one that did it, if he had to take himself,” McKnight’s brother, Lamont Bennett, told reporters at the vigil. “It’s a situation where I don’t know if it’s a drive-by. I don’t know, but it could have been.”
McKnight was under contract with Top Dawg Entertainment, a Los Angeles-based music label that includes Kendrick Lamar and Schoolboy Q, according to the Tennessean. Top Dawg did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.
Tony Parker, who worked as McKnight’s tour manager, told The Tennessean that McKnight was well known for his intimidating persona. “When people see him, they run,” Parker said. “He’s just a tough guy, but he’s a good guy.”
“He’s one of the nicest people,” he added. “He’s just a competitor.”
Other artists mourned McKnight’s death on social media: