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Guest post by Jennifer K. Halford, Esq.
Rapper Lil Phat was fatally shot in front of an Atlanta hospital Thursday night. Lil Phat may have been best known for appearing on Webbie's hit song "Independent."
The 19-year-old Trill Entertainment rapper Melvin Vernell III, who went by Lil Phat, was shot several times in the parking lot near Northside Hospital Women's Center. It was a tragic end to a promising rap career.
The incident occurred shortly after 6:30 p.m. A man was found shot multiple times in a car parked on the second level of a parking deck next to the hospital. The victim was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead later that night.
Later the victim was later identified as Melvin Vernell III, a.k.a. Lil Phat.
The police are searching for two men who were spotted fleeing the scene following the shooting, The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.
The parking deck has video surveillance cameras but it is not yet known if any useful images were captured. A motive for Lil Phat's shooting is not yet known.
A number of hip-hop figures have taken to Twitter to share their condolences, including Webbie. Lil Phat's lines on Webbie's song "Independent," with its deep bass cuts, are all his fans have left of him now. A tragic ending to a young life.
Jennifer K. Halford is an attorney whose practice focuses on business law and estate planning. She is also a professor at California State University, Chico, where she teaches Entrepreneurial Law.