During his recent Netflix special The Closer, Dave Chappelle accused rapper DaBaby of shooting and killing someone inside a Walmart. But did DaBaby really get away with murder?
That was the insinuation of Dave Chappelle, who lambasted DaBaby during a larger point about cancel culture. Referring to DaBaby’s cancellation following homophobic comments at Rolling Loud, here’s what Chappelle said:
DaBaby was the number one streaming artist until a few weeks ago. He took a nasty spill on stage, and said some uh… said some wild stuff about the LGBTQ community during a concert in Florida.
Now you know I go hard in the paint, but even I saw that s—t and was like, ‘God damn DaBaby!’ [crowd laughter] Oooh, he pushed the button didn’t he? He pushed the button, punched the LGBTQ community right in the AIDS.
Can’t do that. Can’t do that.
But I do believe — and I’ll make this point later — that the kid made a very egregious mistake, I will acknowledge that. But ya know, a lot of the LGBTQ community doesn’t know DaBaby’s history. He’s a wild guy.
He once shot a n—r and killed him in Walmart. Oh this is true — Google it. DaBaby shot and killed a n—r in Walmart. In North Carolina. Nothing bad happened to his career. Do you see where I’m going with this?
In our country you can shoot and kill a n—r. But you’d better not hurt a gay person’s feelings.
Chappelle is right: in November of 2018, DaBaby killed someone inside a Walmart in Huntersville, a suburb of Charlotte, North Carolina. But the situation surrounding the Walmart shooting and resulting murder is more complex than what Chappelle presented.
Immediately after the shooting, pandemonium ensued inside the store as patrons stampeded towards the exits. Cops quickly responded — with one officer already inside the store on routine patrol. But it was initially unclear who was involved in the shooting or what took place. Inside the empty store, police only found the dead body of 19-year-old Jalyn Domonique Craig, who died from multiple gunshot wounds.
Within days, local Charlotte news reports confirmed that rapper DaBaby (real name Jonathan Kirk) was one of four individuals being held for questioning. Soon thereafter, DaBaby released an Instagram video from a hospital bed confirming that he had fired shots in the altercation in self-defense.
“If them gunshots ain’t go off, n—a, my f—kin’ daughter could’ve got hit, son could’ve got hit, me,” DaBaby alleged. “F—kin’ lawyers telling me not to say something and s—t, f—k all that. Two n—as walk down on you and your whole muthaf—kin’ family, threaten y’all, whip out on y’all, n—a, let me see what y’all gon’ too. You feel me?”
DaBaby alleged that immediately prior to the Walmart shooting murder, he was violently robbed by two men while shopping with his family. The assailants were allegedly armed and potentially trying to kill the rapper — and camera footage supplied by Walmart eventually backed that defense.
By March of 2019, a judge agreed with DaBaby’s legal argument of self-defense and dropped the murder charges. The rapper was only charged with the misdemeanor offense of carrying a concealed weapon.
Immediately after the ruling, the family of Jalyn Domonique Craig felt that DaBaby got away with murder following the Walmart shooting. But the evidence strongly suggested that the rapper was merely defending himself during an aggressive assault.
All of which raises the question: did Dave Chappelle misrepresent the situation surrounding DaBaby’s Walmart shooting?
In terms of fact-checking, DaBaby pulled the trigger during the Walmart shooting and killed an individual. But under the eyes of the law and a court judgment, the shooting was in self-defense. And DaBaby didn’t get away with murder as Chappelle strongly insinuates.