Rolling Stone has obtained never-before-seen surveillance video of DaBaby’s encounter with two men at a Charlotte-area Walmart on Nov. 5, 2018–before the height of his fame–in which DaBaby shot and killed 19-year-old Jaylin Craig.
The rapper, whose real name is Jonathan Kirk, claimed he was acting in self-defense, but RS argues that the security footage contradicts his version of events and shows him as the initial aggressor.
DaBaby claimed he acted out of fear for his and his family’s safety, and says he was approached by the men who allegedly threatened him and brandished a gun while he was shopping with his then-girlfriend Mariah Osborne and their two young children. Kirk claimed he fired his own gun to protect himself and his family.
BREAKING: Video footage of DaBaby killing 19-year-old Jaylin Craig in 2018. pic.twitter.com/VNGjLR9Byv
— ‼️Now HipHop News‼️ (@BenjaminEnfield) April 25, 2022
Craig’s family members and his best friend, Henry Douglas, claim the altercation started when Kirk became annoyed that the teens had recognized him, and he allegedly demanded they go outside for a fight. Kirk told police that one of the teens initially suggested they fight, but the footage shows Craig standing nearby as Kirk punches Douglas, leaving him with a bruised eye and gashed forehead.
After DaBaby’s initial attack on Douglas, Craig appears to pull out a gun from his waistband, but seems to begin to put it back as he walks out of frame. Other footage shows Kirk pulling out a concealed Glock from his waistband before fatally wounding Craig. Officials later determined that Craig had a gun on him, but it’s unclear if Craig was brandishing the gun as he approached the two men.
The altercation, which lasted under a minute, ended with a wounded Craig running into a nearby aisle and leaving a trail of blood before collapsing. When medics arrived minutes later, he was pronounced dead.
DaBaby was charged and convicted of carrying a concealed weapon and sentenced to 12 months probation with a suspended jail sentence. The case was closed in June 2019.
“I feel like they just swept it up under the rug,” Craig’s mother, LaWanda Horsley, told Rolling Stone. “[Kirk] knows what he did. I’m not doing this for no fame or anything, because at the end of the day, Jaylin Craig is gone.”
On his chart-topping 2020 hit “Rockstar,” DaBaby addressed the incident, which was witnessed by his one-year-old daughter. “My daughter a G, she saw me kill a ni**a in front of her before the age of two,” he raps.
After Rolling Stone published its story, DaBaby took to Instagram to seemingly address the newly-surfaced video.
“Ni**as done took 30 million from me, lie on me once a week, want my fine ass BM’s to hate me, want me to lose fights I don’t start, WHAT MORE DO U WANT FROM MEEE?” he asked while quoting Tyrese.