A new video obtained by Rolling Stone shows footage of the events leading up to the death of Jaylin Craig at a North Carolina Walmart. While there’s no doubt that the shots were fired by rapper DaBaby (real name Jonathan Kirk), the film allegedly casts doubt on the self-defense argument used by the rapper. He ultimately was never charged for the death though was found guilty of carrying a concealed weapon in June 2019 and sentenced to 12 months probation and a suspended jail sentence.
The video allegedly shows that DaBaby in fact started the altercation that led to Craig being shot and killed. The video allegedly shows Kirk sucker-punching a friend of the victim, Henry Douglas. Then, Craig allegedly reaches for his waistband (presumably reaching for a weapon) though it’s unclear if he draws a gun or puts it back in his waistband. A Walmart employee told police after the incident that he saw Craig with a weapon, as did a Walmart customer. The Walmart employee never showed up in court to testify.
Following the footage that possibly shows the victim pulling a gun, DaBaby is allegedly seen pulling his own weapon and shooting. The video was never shown in court – Rolling Stone reports it was found by Craig’s mother LaWanda Horsley in a police file.
Douglas, the friend of the victim that was allegedly shown being punched, said the fight started when they tried to identify DaBaby at the store. “That’s what eventually started it; when he took it the wrong way,” he said. “We were trying to see who you are, and he took it as somebody is looking at him with a problem.”
Even if DaBaby allegedly instigated the fight, it doesn’t mean that he cannot be cleared under North Carolina’s Stand Your Ground laws. While the law does partially depend on who started the fight, the aggressor can still “stand their ground” if they can prove there was a serious threat of imminent death or physical injury.
Since then, DaBaby has been a magnet of controversy. He was removed from several festivals in 2021 following homophobic comments made at Rolling Loud Miami, then was involved in a brawl that happened in a California bowling alley and most recently, a shooting involving a home intruder at his North Carolina home.