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Two suspects sought in Young Dolph’s deadly shooting outside Memphis bakery

Police pleaded for tips from the public to help identify the pair seen outside the business just before the hip-hop artist was killed in a daylight shooting.

Two armed people described as suspects in the fatal shooting of rapper Young Dolph outside a well-known bakery in Memphis, Tennessee, were recorded on security cameras, police said Thursday.

The pair got out of a white, two-door Mercedes Benz shortly before the rapper, 36, whose name was Adolph Thornton Jr., was fatally wounded Wednesday inside Makeda’s Homemade Butter Cookies, police said in a statement.

“The suspects approached the victim while he was inside the business and shot the victim several times. The suspects then fled the scene,” police said.

No arrests have been made, police said.

The images show two masked people in sweatshirts who appear to be wearing gloves. Both appear to be holding firearms.

Young Dolph, who was in Memphis for his annual Thanksgiving giveaway, was on his way to hand out turkeys when he stopped at the bakery, said his lawyer, Scott Hall.

Investigators obtained security video that shows two people get out of a white two-door Mercedes Benz armed with guns. Police say they approached the victim while he was inside the business and shot him several times. They then fled. Memphis Police Department

Police were called to the business, which is southeast of downtown Memphis, at 12:24 p.m. Wednesday, Chief CJ Davis said in a statement Wednesday.

“The shooting is another example of the senseless gun violence we are experiencing locally and nationwide,” she said. “Our hearts go out to the Thornton family and all who are affected by this horrific act of violence.”

She said that a motive wasn’t clear and that investigators were gathering details from witnesses to try to identify the shooter or shooters.

Davis said Wednesday that police were deploying more officers in areas “impacted” by the shooting and encouraged people to stay home.

Rappers and influencers expressed their grief and shock after learning of Young Dolph's death Wednesday afternoon.

“God bless Dolph,” Chance The Rapper tweeted. “Real independent Memphis rapper born in chicago. loved by millions of ppl. Always showed love everytime I seen him this is tragic God bless his family man.”

Rapper Gucci Mane said: “R.I.P. to my friend Dolph this broke my heart.”

“Me and Dolph used to be next door neighbors. Smh. RIP DOLPH,” rapper Lil Yachty said.

DJ Akademiks tweeted video of a local newscast and said the scene of the shooting was flooded with fans and police.

The Commercial Appeal of Memphis reported that Young Dolph was born in Chicago and moved to Memphis as an infant.

He launched his career with a series of mixtapes beginning in 2008, moving up the hip-hop ranks and the Billboard charts in 2016 with gold-certified hits such as “100 Shots,” while his 2020 album, “Rich Slave,” peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard 200.

The Commercial Appeal reported that he had been the victim of two other shootings in 2017.

In February 2017, in Charlotte, North Carolina, he was in a vehicle when a person fired more than 100 rounds at the heavily armored SUV he was in, which he would credit with saving his life. 

Later that year, Young Dolph was critically injured when he was shot multiple times outside a hotel in the Hollywood area of Los Angeles. He made a full recovery, the newspaper reported.

Variety reported that he was the cousin of the Chicago rapper Juice Wrld, who died of a drug overdose at Midway International Airport in 2019.

Memphis police say tips can be made to its homicide unit at 901-636-3300 or to Crime Stoppers at 901-528-CASH. There is a cash reward for information leading to the identification and arrest of suspects, police say.