Crime

Rough week for rap in Miami leaves 2 dead, 7 injured from gunfire. Eleven men detained.

Video show chaotic scene after shooting of rapper AAB Hellabandz

A 24-year-old Chicago rapper named AAB Hellabandz, whose real name is Ameer Golston, was killed early Saturday morning in the heart of South Beach.
Up Next
A 24-year-old Chicago rapper named AAB Hellabandz, whose real name is Ameer Golston, was killed early Saturday morning in the heart of South Beach.

Four separate shootings left two people dead and seven others injured, casting a pall over a weekend that was supposed to be the biggest annual celebration of hip-hop culture in South Florida.

When it all shook out, police in three cities as well as Miami-Dade County were investigating shootings involving people or performers in town for Rolling Loud Music Festival at Hard Rock Stadium. Officers confiscated several high-powered weapons from one of the shooting scenes and detained 11 people for questioning.

By Monday evening, no one had been charged with any crimes.

“We won’t know until we get ballistics,” said Miami-Dade police detective Alvaro Zabaleta.

The bursts of gunfire put a damper on one of South Florida’s biggest rap events. Though the three-day festival, which began Friday, itself wasn’t the scene of any gunfire, a group of four men entering the stadium Sunday night was detained when police matched their vehicle to one spotted at a shooting that started in the parking area of a Trump resort in Sunny Isles Beach.

A day earlier, superstar rapper L’il Wayne announced to his 34.2 million Twitter followers that he was pulling out of the Hard Rock event because “Festival Police” wanted to “check” him before he entered the stadium.

“I do not and will not ever settle for being policed to do my job,” the singer posted on Saturday night.

Zabaleta said the security screening had nothing to do with any of the shootings and that L’il Wayne wouldn’t permit a private security guard to wand him, a policy in place for everyone, including the artists who enter the stadium.

Any way you look at it, it was a rough weekend for rap in South Florida.

The first shooting happened around 6:30 a.m. Friday when someone shot into a party bus rolling down Interstate 95. One woman was shot and taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Two others were injured during the shooting, likely from broken glass.

Then came another shooting early Saturday morning in the 200 block of Española Way, in the heart of South Beach. With customers filling the tables of its outdoor cafes at about 2 a.m., shots rang out. Two men were shot. A 24-year-old Chicago rapper named AAB Hellabandz, whose real name is Ameer Golston, was killed. A man he was with was injured. His name hasn’t been released.

Police said as many as three vehicles may have been involved. As police chased the vehicles, an officer said he saw a passenger flash a weapon from inside one of them. One of the cars was later spotted at the north end of the city near 83rd Street and Collins Avenue. Police again gave chase.

That chase didn’t last long as two cop cars crashed into each other at 91st Street and Harding Avenue. The officers suffered minor injuries, according to Miami Beach police spokesman Ernesto Rodriguez. On Monday afternoon, police released video footage of one of the men who may have been involved in the shootings.

Later Saturday, just as he was set to take the stage, rapper Kodak Black was arrested, accused of lying on an official document as he was trying to buy a gun. Prosecutors said Black wrote “no” on the document he signed before purchasing a weapon that asked if he was currently under indictment for a crime.

Then the next day, Sunday afternoon, gunfire erupted near the valet section of Trump International Beach Resort in Sunny Isles Beach. Across the street, a Hertz Rental Car employee named Mohamad Jradi had just gotten off work and was in his car ready to head home to celebrate Mother’s Day when one of the bullets struck him in the head. He died immediately.

In a statement released Monday, Hertz called Jradi a “highly valued member” of the family who worked there for 12 years.

“He will be greatly missed,” the company said.

The whizzing bullets sent people scurrying and ducking under tables at nearby restaurants. which were crowded with Mother’s Day patrons.

“It’s sad,” said Zeta Bourne, who works at BurgerFi across the street from the Trump resort. “We’re supposed to be celebrating our moms today and instead we’re dealing with this tragic shooting.”

Also hit was a 5-year-old boy on vacation from Texas. He was treated on the scene and released. And a 19-year-old woman named Kaylyn Marie Long, who a witness said was the girlfriend of Louisiana rapper NBA Youngboy, was also shot and injured.

Late Monday, police said that Youngboy, whose real name is Kendrell DeSean Gaulden, and a group of his friends were leaving the Trump resort at 18001 Collins Ave. when someone inside a black Cadillac Escalade opened fire, striking Long. Police said Sunny Isles Beach police stopped the driver of the black Suburban taking Long to the hospital shortly after the shooting.

Miami-Dade police said they questioned several of the people staying in rooms at the Trump resort, detained several of them and seized a host of weapons. By Monday night, police had released all 11 people detained for questioning as part of the ongoing investigation.



Not long after the Sunny Isles shooting, which paralyzed traffic in the small seaside community, a man was shot in his car while exiting the William Lehman Causeway in Aventura. His injuries were minor, police said. Aventura police said they were working with Sunny Isles and Miami-Dade to determine if that shooting was related to the one earlier in Sunny Isles.

After the shooting in Sunny Isles, police issued a bulletin for a GMC Yukon they suspected was involved in the shooting. A few hours later Miami-Dade police spotted the SUV entering the Rolling Loud concert at Hard Rock and detained four men. It wasn’t immediately clear if they were part of the 11 that were released by police on Monday.

NBA Youngboy, a Baton Rouge rapper, performed at Rolling Loud on Sunday. Ana Rodriguez, who said Long was Youngboy’s girlfriend, told the Miami Herald she saw a fight break out in front of the Trump resort. She said she heard the shots as she was entering a liquor store across the street while getting ready for the concert.

Said Zabaleta: “There are a lot of unanswered questions.”

  Comments