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Hip-hop mogul Marion "Suge" Knight plowed a truck into a group of people in Compton, California, on Thursday, killing one man in what authorities are calling a hit-and-run, Knight’s lawyer and law enforcement officials told NBC News. The attorney called it an accident.
Knight, 49, was arrested on a murder charge after turning himself in for questioning in West Hollywood early Friday, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said. He is being held in lieu of $2 million bail.
Detectives are continuing to investigate the circumstances of the crash on West Rosecrans Avenue in Compton, which occurred at about 2:55 p.m. (5:55 p.m. ET), a short time after a shoot for the new NWA biopic, "Straight Outta Compton."
The truck “drove backwards, struck victims, then went forward and struck them again as he left,” Sheriff's Homicide Detective Lt. John Corina told NBC Los Angeles. A man, identified by multiple law enforcement sources as Terry Carter, 55, was struck and pronounced dead at a hospital. A second person was injured, sources with knowledge of the investigation said. His identity was not immediately released.
The truck Knight was allegedly driving was later found in Westwood, sheriff's officials said. Knight is the one-time head of Death Row Records, which he co-founded with Dr. Dre and helped build up the burgeoning West Coast rap scene of the early 1990s.
Knight’s attorney, James Blatt, said the ex-rap impresario was driving the truck and called it a “tragic accident.” Detectives are investigating the incident as a homicide. The identities of the victims, ages 51 and 55, were not immediately released.
Knight has had a series of high-profile run-ins with the law dating to the 1990s. He served four years in state prison after being sentenced in 1997 for violating probation stemming from a previous assault; he returned to prison in 2003 after assaulting a parking-lot attendant; and in 2008 he was arrested in Las Vegas on suspicion of drug possession and aggravated assault, but eventually pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery.
In October, Knight and comedian Micah "Katt" Williams were arrested and charged with robbery for allegedly stealing a paparazzo's camera outside a Beverly Hills studio. If convicted, Knight, who already has a conviction for assault with a deadly weapon, could face a maximum term of 30 years to life in jail.
In August, Knight was shot several times during an early morning shooting at a West Hollywood nightclub.
And in 1996, rapper Tupac Shakur was a passenger in a car that Knight was driving when both men were attacked in a drive-by shooting on the Las Vegas Strip. Shakur, who was hit multiple times, later died. The case was never solved.