Was It Self-Defense? DaBaby Shooting Vid Starts New Debate


Apr. 25 2022, Published 8:22 p.m. ET

In 2018 DaBaby, born Jonathan Lyndale Kirk, shot and killed Jaylin Craig, a 19-year-old boy. The rapper claimed that it was out of self-defense however, new security footage obtained by Rolling Stone is raising eyebrows. In this new video, the rapper appears to be the aggressor which now contradicts key aspects of his told story of events.

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November 5, 2018

DaBaby's local fan base eventually took him to the top of the listening charts and even landed him some Grammy nominations. Four years ago he signed a deal with Interscope Records which ultimately changed his life.

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However, eleven weeks prior to making it big he had an encounter with the young Jaylin Craig. On November 5, 2018 at a Charlotte-area Walmart in North Carolina, Craig and the young rapper got into an altercation which became fatal.

Craig was a listener of DaBaby during his days of passing around YouTube videos and SoundCloud links in hopes of being signed. Him and his long time friend Henry Douglas spotted DaBaby at their local Walmart and when the "Levitating" rapper spotted their wandering eyes, he instantly became defensive. After calling the teens out for recognizing him, DaBaby insisted that they take their business outside for a fight.

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When talking to police, the rapper claimed that one of the teens suggested they should fight. The footage revealed DaBaby blindsiding Douglas with a sucker punch to the face with Craig standing nearby. Douglas was left with a bruised eye-socket and a gash in his head that required stitches. And unfortunately, that wasn't the worst of it.

One block of the footage shows Craig pulling a gun from his waistband after DaBaby's initial attacks on Douglas. But, as he's walking out of the camera frame, it appears that he put his gun back. Later footage leaves us uncertain of whether or not Craig was still brandishing his gun but, it does exhibit DaBaby pulling out a concealed Glock from his waistband which fatally wounded Craig.

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The entire altercation between the three males lasted no longer than a minute. It initially wounded Craig and forced him to run into a nearby aisle leaving a trail of blood before collapsing in the spot where medics later pronounced him dead.

No Justice For Jaylin Craig

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"I feel like they just swept it up under the rug," Craig's mother, LaWanda Horsley, told Rolling Stone when talking about the investigation of her son's death. And, although DaBaby has since moved on from it, Horsley, her family, and Douglas have not. Craig's family and friends are still trying to make sense of how the young rapper got off relatively scot-free for the killing.

So, if you didn't know, after the Walmart altercation, DaBaby was convicted of carrying a concealed weapon and sentenced to twelve months' probation with a suspended jail sentence.

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Horsley shared with Rolling Stone how much her son's death has impacted her life. She was told about her son's death by an image sent to her of Craig lying in a pool of blood.

She still lives in Charlotte but she suffers severe anxiety and barely leaves her home. She is heavily triggered by anything related to DaBaby and can't risk seeing or hearing something that relates to him when she goes out. "I kind of stay at home," admitted Horsley. She continued, "I don't got to the mall; I don't do anything. I quit going to events. If I know I have no control in the music, I don't go."

Craig's father, Curtis, said that he and his son were inseparable. He shared his confusion over his son's death stating, "My son wasn't even like that. He wasn't even a 'gangster.' We didn't raise him like that."

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All of Craig's family members feel that his death was unjustified and that it went largely unheard of. They admitted to not trying to stay under the radar and that they wanted people to ask them questions about who their son was and what he was like, but no one did. "We never hid from nobody," explained Horsley. She continued, "We never [heard] from nobody. Ya'll knew our names from a news clip. But nobody ever asked us what was Jaylin like. Nobody."

Rolling Stone talked with Curtis, LaWanda and Henry about their stories, Jaylin and everything since that day. With that, is new video footage of the altercation which has people skeptical if his act on Craig was actually self-defense.

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New Footage Leaves Fans Skeptic Of The Truth

On Sunday, Rolling Stone published surveillance footage of DaBaby and Jaylin Craig that had gone unseen.

When the case was happening the rapper claimed that he acted in self-defense because Craig had initially pulled a gun. So, he was protecting his family who was with him- his girlfriend and baby girl. But, this new video seems to show otherwise.

In the new video that surfaced, DaBaby appears to be the aggressor in the situation. He charged at another man, before Craig, and gets into a scuffle with him first.

It's clear that both parties had gun's handy but, what's unclear is who actually pulled theirs out first to cause the fatal shot.


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