Right before being signed to Interscope Records, rapper DaBaby shot and killed a man at a Charlotte-area Walmart in November 2018. The rapper, also known by his real name Jonathan Kirk, claims to have acted in self-defence, and has even gone as far as to reference the incident in his music.
However, according to new footage that has recently resurfaced, this might be questionable, as it appears Kirk was the person who instigated the fight that led to the shooting.
The footage in question shows Kirk entering the frame while punching Henry Douglas, the friend of the shooting victim, Jaylin Craig. After the attack, Craig appears to reach for a gun in his waistband, but it isn’t clear whether he put it back based on a subsequent angle of the video. The remaining footage shows Kirk pulling out his gun, shooting and killing Craig shortly thereafter.
Henry Douglas claims that he never saw Jaylin Craig draw a weapon. However, the video clearly proves the involvement of a firearm from his side of the altercation. Eyewitnesses also say that they saw Craig with a gun. Even with Kirk instigating the conflict, the report on the incident concluded that prosecutors couldn’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Kirk didn’t act in self-defence.
Based on North Carolina’s Stand Your Ground law, Kirk could have a well-executed case for using a firearm to act in self-defence if he believed his life to be in danger. Since the video just resurfaced, it was never actually shown in court. Additionally, a key witness, a Walmart employee, never showed up to testify.
Ultimately, Kirk was not prosecuted for Craig’s death. However, he was eventually found guilty of carrying a concealed weapon in June of 2019, after which he was sentenced to a year of probation alongside a suspended jail sentence.