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New Report Casts Doubt on DaBaby's Self-Defense Claim in 2018 Killing

Rolling Stone reported on DaBaby shooting and killing 19-year-old Jaylin Craig in 2018, with footage that rebuts his defense claim.

DaBaby's violent past has crept up on him. On Sunday, Rolling Stone published an exclusive report about DaBaby – born Jonathan Lyndale Kirk – shooting and killing 19-year-old Jaylin Craig at a North Carolina Walmart in 2018. Although the rapper spoke about the shooting in various interviews, claiming self-defense, newly released footage from the incident rebuts his account.

In the article, Craig's best friend Henry Douglas says that he and Craig were walking in Walmart when they saw Kirk with his then-girlfriend Mariah Osborne, but didn't know if it was the rapper. As Craig and Douglas walked closer to Kirk to verify that it was him, the encounter seemingly agitated Kirk who responded in defense.

“That’s what eventually started it; when he took it the wrong way,” Douglas told Rolling Stone. “We were trying to see who you are, and he took it as somebody is looking at him with a problem.”

Douglas says that the rapper then then asked him and Craig, “Do you know me?,” to which Douglas replied, “Oh, I thought that was you,” and walked off. Douglas later claims that he ran into a woman that he knew in the store, walking past Kirk again, which continued to agitate the rapper. After demanding to know what Douglas and Craig were doing, the rapper urged that the trio should fight in the store's parking lot.

Douglas said that he agreed to Kirk's proposal, assuming that he and Craig would leave the parking lot in their vehicles. In the footage, Kirk is seen “unexpectedly launching into Douglas, striking him in the head and nearly tackling him to the ground.”

While Craig stood near the two in the footage, he "reaches into the front of his waistband to pull out what appears to be a firearm,” according to Mecklenburg County Assistant District Attorney William Bunting’s report.” Craig is then seen attempting to intervene with “his left hand between the fighting pair, as if to pull them off one another,” to which Osbourne jumped in, pushing and hitting Craig in the face.

When DaBaby broke free from the struggle, he withdrew a concealed .40-caliber Glock from his waistband, shooting Craig once in his side. Running into a nearby aisle, Craig is seen collapsing to the ground, being pronounced dead just minutes later.

Maintaining his self-defense claims in interviews,  Kirk referenced the shooting in his 2020 hit “Rockstar” and in the video for his 2019 song “Walker Texas Ranger.”