CHARLOTTE, N.C. — In 2018, Charlotte native and well-known rapper DaBaby was involved in a shooting inside a Huntersville Walmart where 19-year-old Jayln Craig was shot and killed.
As details emerged, DaBaby was later identified as the shooter, but he did not face homicide charges after he claimed self-defense.
But now, Rolling Stone obtained newly released security footage that seems to show a different story from what was originally reported in 2018.
In the new video posted by Rolling Stone on April 24, DaBaby is seen throwing the first physical punch at Craig's friend, Henry Douglas. From there, a scuffle between DaBaby and Douglas starts, and Craig can be seen grabbing what appears to be a firearm from his waistband.
As the fight migrates down the open aisles in Walmart, Craig and another person, who Rolling Stone does not identify, seem to attempt to break up the scuffle between Douglas and DaBaby. At that point, the angle changes and DaBaby can be seen backing away and firing shots in the direction of Craig and Douglas.
Contrary to what is seen in the video from Rolling Stone, in 2018, DaBaby posted to his Instagram explaining his side of the story, claiming the two men started it and attempted to harm him in front of his family.
The Huntersville Police Department confirmed a fight took place inside the store between multiple people that reportedly led to DaBaby's opening fire. Douglas, Craig's best friend, claimed the incident took place because DaBaby was upset that he and Craig recognized who he was and allegedly asked the pair to meet him outside of Walmart to fight.
In June 2019, the case was closed and DaBaby was not charged in connection to the fatal shooting of Craig but was charged with carrying a concealed weapon and was sentenced to 12 months probation.
WCNC Charlotte reached out to the District Attorney's Office and received the following statement:
“Upon review of the investigative file, our office agreed with the police department’s decision not to file additional charges (aside from the carrying a concealed gun charge) because prosecutors determined they could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did not act in self-defense.”
What Craig's family says
In the Rolling Stone report, Craig's family claims the Huntersville Police Department did not interview multiple witnesses who knew both DaBaby and Douglas. They claim there are "inconsistencies and commissions" in the police reports from DaBaby and the mother of his children. The family told Rolling Stone DaBaby failed to mention how the physical fight started and never told authorities he was the one who threw the first punch.
WCNC Charlotte reached out to Huntersville Police Department and obtained the original police report on the incident and we are still working to obtain a copy of the newly released video.
Craig's mother LaWanda Horsely told Rolling Stone, “[Kirk] knows what he did. I’m not doing this for no fame or anything, because at the end of the day, Jaylin Craig is gone.”
“In my eyes, I feel like [Jaylin] was murdered,” Curtis, Jaylin's father said to Rolling Stone. “And [Kirk] got away with it. Everything he [does] is pretty much the same thing. He’s assaulting people, he’s getting away with it. Every case that you look at, they’re dismissing it. Why is he getting off?”
Will the case be reopened?
Rolling Stone also spoke with Todd Owens, a criminal defense lawyer in the Charlotte area. In the article, Owens told Rolling Stone he took issue with DaBaby's claim of self-defense since DaBaby was in the store with two other people at the time who were seen on camera approaching Craig during the time Craig was allegedly showing the firearm.
WCNC Charlotte reached out to Owens and asked if the case had a chance to be reopened.
"It depends," Owens told WCNC Charlotte "Ultimately, it is up to the District Attorney’s office to decide if they have enough evidence to pursue prosecution in relation to the shooting death. Waiting for years and then re-opening not because of new evidence, but because of the evidence making it into the public eye, would look bad for the State. The other avenue for the family to pursue would be a wrongful death civil lawsuit against Kirk, seeking monetary damages, where all of his commentary on social media, song lyrics, and other assaultive behavior could possibly come into play."
“I don’t look at him as no DaBaby,” Horsley said to Rolling Stone. “I look at him like, ‘You’re Jonathan Kirk, and you murdered Jaylin Craig.’”
At this time, the Craig family has not filed a civil lawsuit against DaBaby.
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