A gunman fatally shot two people and injured two others at a rap concert Sunday night in Atlanta, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. The shooting is likely to renew concerns about hip-hop culture.
It was a frantic scene at the Masquerade at Underground Atlanta when the shooter fired at two rowdy concertgoers after they jumped on the stage between performances, an Atlanta police officer told the newspaper.
After fatally shooting those two concertgoers, the suspect fired toward the ground and struck two other people who were injured during the melee. The crowd, including the gunman, rushed toward the exit. Unarmed security personnel saw the suspect but were not able to detain him.
Cousin Stizz, who was scheduled to perform at the concert, released this statement on Instagram:
“I’m in shock and at a loss of words for the senseless violence,” he said. “My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families.”
The rapper said his concerts are usually safe, but many will no doubt raise more questions about the link between hip-hop and violence.
Following a 2016 T. I. concert in Manhattan, at which a shooter killed one person and injured three others before the performance, former New York City Police Chief William J. Bratton said rap artists are “basically thugs” who perform music that celebrates violence, The New York Times reported.
In the ongoing debate, some researchers have argued that hip-hop culture promotes alcohol abuse that leads to violence. While others have praised hip-hop for reducing violence, by showing from FBI crime data that violent crime decreased since the birth of gangsta rap.