The emerging Chicago rapper King Von was one of three people shot and killed in Atlanta early Friday morning, the Atlanta Police Department said, during an altercation that involved both on- and off-duty police officers who were attempting to break up a fight.
King Von, born Dayvon Bennett, 26, was among two groups of men who began arguing outside of the Monaco Hookah Lounge, near downtown, around 3:20 a.m., leading to gunfire, the authorities said in a statement on Friday. Two off-duty Atlanta police officers were working security at the establishment, and an on-duty officer was patrolling nearby, they said. Two of the officers confronted the shooters, leading to additional shots fired.
The police said that three people were discovered at the scene with gunshot wounds and transported to the hospital, while three others, including King Von, left the scene and were taken to the hospital by private vehicles. No officers were injured in the shooting, the police said.
“At this time, our investigators believe Mr. Bennett was shot during the initial shootout between the two groups of males, prior to police responding and attempting to stop the shooting,” the Atlanta police said, adding that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation was called in to investigate the officers’ conduct. “Part of the investigations will include determining which individuals were struck by gunfire from the suspects and whether any were struck by gunfire from the officers.”
King Von was a Chicago native, hailing from Parkway Gardens, the low-income apartments located in the area known as O’Block on the city’s South Side. Last week, he released his third album, “Welcome to O’Block,” to success on streaming services. He was enmeshed in Chicago’s drill scene, alongside artists like Chief Keef and Lil Durk, who signed King Von to his record label, Only the Family Entertainment, where he developed a reputation for vivid, street-level storytelling.
After spending his teenage years in and out of prison in Chicago, King Von had moved to Atlanta to focus on his music career. “I like the people more in Chicago, but it’s just smarter to live at where I am now,” he said in an interview this summer.
A year earlier, King Von had been arrested in Atlanta, along with Lil Durk, and charged with attempted murder, among other felonies, for what prosecutors said was their role in a robbery outside of the local fast-food restaurant the Varsity. Both men were later released on bond, and the case remained open.
“Von overcame incredibly challenging circumstances as a young man, but never lost sight of what it meant to give back and uplift his community,” the label and distribution company Empire, which helped to release the rapper’s music, said in a statement. “He was a loving father, dedicated member of his community and an amazing talent that just started to scratch the surface of his boundless potential.”