Keith “Magik” Atkinson, close friend of YMCMB bosses Lil Wayne and Mack Maine, was killed last week by New Orleans police, and his family and friends say the circumstances surrounding his death are questionable at best.
Atkinson, 31, happened to be at a convenience store when police came to respond to a shoplifting incident. The description given said the suspect was wearing a blue shirt. Atkinson also was wearing a blue shirt, but witnesses present have gone on record and stated that Atkinson was not the shoplifter. Nonetheless, he ended up being shot four times by officer Jonathan Hirdes. Apparently, when told to put his hands up, Atkinson had a drink in his hand that Officer Hirdes supposedly mistook for a gun.
Police claim they found a stolen .45 caliber gun next to his body.
Atkinson had his fair amount of run-ins with the law as he was on probation for a cocaine possession charge at the time of his death. Despite his trouble, his father, Keith Joseph, says he didn’t deserve to die like this.
“What could he have done to deserve that in broad open daylight? You got 20 casings on the ground from one police and witnesses saying he emptied the clip in him. Stood over him,” said Joseph. “I’m not saying he was an altar boy, but he wasn’t a straight-out killer. He wasn’t a criminal. He held up through almost 40 surgeries (after being shot six times in recent years), to lose his life at the hands of a police officer. I don’t think it’s justice… It’s not right.”
Just the night before his death, Atkinson had been out partying with his friends Lil Wayne and Mack Maine. Both later expressed their grief via Twitter.
New Orleans police say the investigation is on-going.
Atkinson is survived by three children.