The legal team for DaBaby has reacted to the recent release of a previously unseen video of the 2018 fatal shooting at a Charlotte, N.C., Walmart that they say further proves their client’s claims of self-defense. The altercation ended with the rapper (born Jonathan Kirk) shooting and killing a 19-year-old fan named Jaylin Craig.
Rolling Stone reported April 24 what it claimed was never-before-seen security footage of the fatal fight between Craig and Kirk, in which DaBaby appears to be the initial aggressor in the incident, which the magazine said called into question the MC’s claim that he acted in self-defense. At press time, Billboard has not independently verified the veracity of the video footage.
TMZ reported on Wednesday (April 27) that Kirk’s lawyers, Drew Findling and Marissa Goldberg, told the site that the video was reviewed by prosecutors in 2018, which resulted in them concluding that the rapper acted in self-defense. The case was closed in June 2019, with Kirk avoiding prosecution for Craig’s death. Instead, he was sentenced and convicted for a misdemeanor count of carrying a concealed weapon and then sentenced to 12 months probation and a suspended jail sentence.
According to TMZ, the video was also reviewed by a Mecklenburg County judge in connection with the misdemeanor charge levied against Kirk for not having the proper permit for his weapon. Spokespeople for DaBaby and his legal team have not yet returned Billboard‘s requests for comment.
“Witnesses were interviewed and corroborated Mr. Kirk’s statement. The entirety of the surveillance video was viewed and determined to corroborate Mr. Kirk’s statement,” Findling and Goldberg told TMZ. “Mr. Kirk was protecting himself and his family at the time of the shooting.”
On Monday (April 25), DaBaby replied to a tweet from Hot 97 and Beats 1 host Ebro Darden, who wrote, “Why are people acting like the 2018 video of Da Baby’s Walmart incident wasn’t already seen by Walmart, The Police and the courts?”
DaBaby wrote in response, “Cuz the media got they a– brainwashed.”