A suspect has been named in connection to the murder of Memphis rapper Young Dolph.
Justin Johnson, 23, is alleged to have shot Dolph, born Adolph Thornton, on Nov. 17, 2021, according to the U.S. Marshals Service. The Memphis Police Department has issued a first-degree murder warrant for Johnson.
The 23-year-old also has a warrant for violation of “federal supervised release out of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee.” The original charge was for a weapon offense.
Law enforcement agencies are offering a combined $15,000 reward for the capture of Johnson, as he’s also been added to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s Most Wanted list.
The U.S. Marshals Service describes Johnson as a Black man who’s approximately 5-foot-8 and weighs about 190 pounds. He also has the name “Jaiya” tattooed on his right arm.
“Johnson has ties to organized criminal gangs and should be considered armed and dangerous,” the Marshals’ press release read.
Dolph’s death sent shock waves throughout the city of Memphis and the hip-hop community as a whole. A 36-year-old father, the artist was known for his philanthropy to his hometown of Memphis and his public advocacy for independence and entrepreneurship.
On Christmas Eve in 2021, the artist’s partner, Mia Jaye, shared her thoughts on the holiday season on Instagram.
“This Christmas and holiday season is different … it’s cold. It’s sad. It’s full of fake joy so that the kids can still maintain their love for Christmas,” Jaye’s caption read.
“I wanted my Black Man to Grow Old with me. He deserved it. We deserve it. To every gunman ready to pull the trigger… you deserve it… Protect our own, stopping killing our own. #BlackMenDeserveToGrowOld.”