How Jeezy’s Arrest And Suge Knight’s Shooting Are Connected
Today, TMZ reported that the AK-47 that was found on Jeezy's tour bus in late August was legally registered to the Snowman's head of security, who was not on the bus at the time of the arrest. Jeezy and five others were busted after cops executed a search warrant on the bus following the fatal shooting of a concert promoter backstage during Wiz Khalifa's set at the Under The Influence Of Music tour two days prior and turned up the weapon. No one claimed ownership, so all six sat in jail until Jeezy posted bail for everyone on the night of Aug. 28.
So why didn't anyone claim ownership of the gun? That, according to the site, was because Jeezy's security chief was in the hospital after being shot in the same shooting incident that left Suge Knight bloodied at Chris Brown's pre-VMA party in Los Angeles the night before.
If TMZ is to be believed, all three incidents—the homicide during Wiz's set, Suge Knight's shooting and Jeezy's arrest—are all connected in a bizarre web that spans the length of California and more than a week of crazier and crazier headlines. So, how do they all relate to each other? XXL put together a timeline of events to try and piece together how everything in this tangled web is intertwined. Hold on to your butts.
Friday, Aug. 22
The Under The Influence Of Music Tour had been rolling along since July 24, with Wiz Khalifa and Jeezy headlining with support from Ty Dolla $ign, Rich Homie Quan, Sage The Gemini, Mack Wilds, Iamsu! and DJ Drama. The night of Aug. 22—the third to last stop on the tour—a man was shot and killed during Wiz's show-closing set at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, Calif., northwest of San Jose. Police reported that the man who was killed was a 38-year-old local concert promoter named Eric Johnson who was apparently promoting Jeezy's after party that night; sources told police that the man had been arguing backstage with the gunman and was hit five times from what was likely a "black pistol with a large magazine."
Saturday, Aug. 23
In the wake of the shooting, the tour's second-to-last show in Chula Vista, Calif., just South of San Diego, was cancelled by the promoters as police investigated the killing. "Due to a situation out of our control, tonight’s UTIOM show is cancelled," Wiz said in a statement. "This was a senseless tragedy. Violence is never the answer. My prayers go out to the victim’s family."
That Saturday also happened to be the night before the MTV VMAs, which brought plenty of stars to Los Angeles, many of whom showed up at Chris Brown's pre-VMA party at 1Oak nightclub in West Hollywood. Former Death Row head honcho—and no stranger to violence himself—Suge Knight was among those in attendance when gunshots rang out around 1:30 in the morning. Knight was shot six times in the incident and was rushed to the hospital, while two others sustained bullet wounds and were treated at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in L.A., with no suspects identified. One of the victims was 19-year-old model Megan Hawkins; according to TMZ, the other man, who had previously been identified only as a 32-year-old male, was Jeezy's head of security on the Under The Influence Tour, and had been shot in the arm.
Sunday, Aug. 24
The final show on the Under The Influence Of Music Tour in Irvine, Calif., a city in between Los Angeles and San Diego, went ahead as scheduled, but Jeezy was noticeably absent from the lineup. According to reports, police executed a search warrant on his bus in relation to the shooting Friday night, which caused him to miss his performance. While initial reports indicated that no one was arrested or charged, Jeezy and five others on his tour bus were arrested that night after police found an assault rifle on the tour bus. No one on the bus, including the Snowman, would claim ownership of the weapon, and all six were arrested and booked on $1 million bail in Orange County, Calif.
Meanwhile, Chris Brown's camp released a statement distancing Brown from the shooting incident at his party. “Chris hosted an event in Los Angeles last night to celebrate the upcoming release of his album X, during which an incident occurred," Brown's reps said in a statement to XXL. "This incident did not involve Chris; he was merely the host of the event. He has and will continue to cooperate with the investigation.” The next day, video of the shooting emerged, with sources telling TMZ that the shooting may have been gang related.
Tuesday, Aug. 26
News about Jeezy's arrest began to trickle out, with police saying that while six people were arrested, none were suspects in the shooting death of Eric Johnson Friday night. The other five were all working on the Under The Influence Tour and all six were charged with possession of an assault rifle. The local San Jose Mercury News also brought in a legal analyst to speculate on why the bail for the charges was so high. “If they didn’t think [Jeezy] had significant knowledge about the homicide, I can’t imagine why he’d have a million-dollar bail,” the analyst said.
Wednesday, Aug. 27
As details continued to emerge about Jeezy's arrest, it was reported that the assault rifle in question was a "military-style AK-47." With Jeezy's fifth studio album, Seen It All, scheduled to drop Sept. 2, Jeezy and the five other people arrested with him remained in jail for a third day with the $1 million bail hanging over their heads. That same morning, Suge Knight walked out of the hospital after recovering sufficiently from the six gunshots wounds he received during the shooting Saturday night. In a further twist, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department turned over the shooting investigation to its homicide division, suggesting the shooting was an attempted murder. Katt Williams, who was with Suge at the time he was shot, had previously suggested that the former label head was not the intended target.
Thursday, Aug. 28
Jeezy appeared in court and pled not guilty to possession of an assault rifle, along with the other five people who had also been locked up with him. The six were set to remain in jail until their next hearing on Sept. 5, but late Thursday night Jeezy posted bail for himself and his five co-defendants and the Snowman walked free after four days in prison and just five days before Seen It All was to hit stores.
Friday, Aug. 29
In a related situation, Wiz Khalifa was set to perform at Michigan State University on Sept. 13, but the University cancelled the show after the Under The Influence shooting, citing a "review of recent events and assessment of campus concerns."
Tuesday, Sept. 2
The day Seen It All hit stores, Jeezy appeared on Power 105's The Breakfast Club to talk about why he was locked up for such a long time. "I’m such a real person and I know we was there in the right. I just felt like I couldn’t leave them there," Jeezy said about the other five people arrested with him. "When I stepped in the door, I had bailsmen right there to get me out. And I just made it clear: 'When I leave, we leaving together.' Point blank period." He also claimed that neither he nor anyone else had anything to do with the charges, though it remained unclear who owned the AK-47.
The same day, Suge Knight called in to TMZ and claimed that he knew who shot him, though he wouldn't be seeking revenge. "There’s gonna be some times when you might get a few shots,” he said. “And if you’re able to survive those shots, you’re supposed to make yourself stronger and be more positive."
Friday, Sept. 5
At this point, the Suge Knight shooting seemed completely separate to the Wiz/Jeezy situations, related only coincidentally by proximity and timing. But this morning TMZ reported that the AK-47 belonged to Jeezy's chief of security, whose name they did not release; the security guard owned the weapon legally, which could wind up clearing Jeezy and the other five members of his crew of any wrongdoing.
But the more interesting aspect of the report is what ties the three cases all together. The six people arrested on Jeezy's tour bus were busted because no one claimed ownership of the gun. So where was Jeezy's chief of security? In the hospital, apparently, recovering from at least one gunshot wound suffered during the Suge Knight shooting incident. Apparently police were told repeatedly that the gun belonged to the chief of security, but as he wasn't there they arrested everybody on the bus anyway.
So, what happened? It's impossible to say for sure because, presumably, the only person who knows who shot Suge Knight right now is Suge Knight, and he won't say anything. Katt Williams said Suge wasn't the intended target. The L.A. Sheriff's Department believes that someone was an intended target. But it stands to reason that if Suge Knight hadn't been shot, and Jeezy's chief of security hadn't taken a bullet during the incident, the security guard would have been on tour with Jeezy, been present to claim that the rifle was legally his, and Jeezy wouldn't have gone to jail for four days. So far, no suspects have been arrested in the Suge Knight shooting and no suspects have been arrested in the shooting during the Wiz Khalifa show. Who knows what's going on? But during a crazy few weeks for hip-hop, it's bizarre that three of the biggest stories of the past 14 days are all linked together.