Murder Charge Filed In Dolla's Killing

Murder Charge Filed In Dolla's Killing
Prosecutors have filed a murder charge against a man suspected of killing Dolla at a Los Angeles mall.

Los Angeles County coroner's spokesman Ed Winter said the man killed Monday afternoon at the Beverly Center was 21-year-old Roderick Anthony Burton II, the birth name of rapper Dolla.

Police said Tuesday that Aubrey Berry, 23, of Atlanta was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport with a gun Monday night. His bail was set at $1 million.

Burton is among a growing list of slain rappers, including Tupac Shakur in 1996, the Notorious B.I.G. in 1997, Jam Master Jay of Run-DMC in 2002 and Deshaun "Proof" Holton in 2006.

Burton was shot several times in a parking structure at the Beverly Center and was declared dead at a hospital, police said.

Police did not say what may have motivated the killing. An autopsy had not been performed on Burton by Tuesday afternoon, and charges against Berry had not been presented to prosecutors. Records in Georgia show that neither Burton nor Berry had served time in state prison.

"Dolla was trying to be a role model for other kids who had similar childhood experiences," said Laura Wright, Burton's publicist.

Another woman the Los Angeles Times identified as Burton's publicist, Sue Vannasing, said the rapper was waiting at a valet stand after a shopping trip when he was shot. She did not respond to repeated calls and e-mails from The Associated Press seeking additional comment.

Police said Berry was found hours later in a ticketing area of Los Angeles International Airport. He was believed to have dropped off a rental car before he was found, said airport police Sgt. Jim Holcomb.

"As the officers approached the suspect, they asked him, 'Do you know why we're here?"' Holcomb told the AP. "He put his (hands) up in the air and said, 'Yes, I've got a gun in my waistband. Don't shoot me."'

Airport police found a loaded 9mm semiautomatic handgun and turned Berry over to Los Angeles police.

Dolla, a protege of hip-hop artist Akon, worked on the soundtrack for the 2006 dance film Step Up and recently released two singles with Akon: Like This and She So Fine.

Dolla was "an incredible artist," Akon's Konvict Entertainment said in a statement Tuesday. "This is a senseless crime and the industry has lost a real talent. Our heart goes out to his family, friends, and fans."

Dolla's MySpace page said he once modeled for Diddy's Sean John clothing line and was signed to Jive and Elektra record labels.

Diddy's publicist did not immediately respond to a call seeking comment Tuesday.

Burton was working on his second album, A Dolla and a Dream, which was due to be released on Akon's Konvict Muzik label. A song with T-Pain was titled Who in the (Expletive) Is That?

On one of his songs, Rainy Nights, Burton seemed to foreshadow his own death: "Papa died at 25 so he must have been great, they say the good die young, I guess I'm on my way."

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