Renowned vlogger Zack Stoner was shot and killed while driving in Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood early Wednesday morning (May 30). Stoner, who founded ZackTV1 and was well-known in the hip-hop community, was just 30 years old.
Local news site WGN TV reports that Stoner was shot in the head and neck around 1:30 a.m. near the 700 block of South Clark Street before his Jeep ran onto a curb and into a light pole. Witnesses tell the news outlet that a group of people jumped out of the other vehicle involved in the crash before getting into a third car that drove away. Stoner, who was left in critical condition, was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he later died.
According to friends, Stoner was leaving a rap concert at Refuge, located on 416 S. Clark St., just before the shooting. Some are speculating that the shooting was premeditated.
“I’m hearing stories like they may have been mad at him because he did interviews with certain rappers,” Phor Robinson, a friend of Stoner, said. “But that’s not his fault for him doing his job. I don’t know why anyone would attack Zack and shoot him. He’s not that type. He shows love to everybody in Chicago.”
Stoner had accumulated a large following and was known for his raw and unfiltered coverage of the hip-hop community. He interviewed many of Chicago’s rappers and was responsible for helping Chief Keef, and other drill rappers receive their first on-camera media coverage.
“I wanted to show the world the other side of Chicago,” he said in April. “Back when I was growing up, we had Common and Kanye West. Those are great brothers and great entertainers, but I didn’t think they represented Chicago the way that I’ve seen Chicago.”
As Billboard notes, ZackTV was also where Tony Woods, a mentor of Stoner’s, reached out in November when his for-profit community organization, Good Brothers, was working toward fostering peace between rival gangs in the Altgeld Gardens neighborhood. “He often ended his videos with the question, ‘What can we do to resolve the violence in Chicago?'” adds Billboard.
Ja’Mal Green, activist, and mayoral candidate is offering a $1,000 reward for any information that could lead to an arrest.
CASSIUS sends condolences to Stoner’s family and loved ones.