New York City authorities on Monday seemed no closer to making an arrest in the Sunday shooting death of 31-year-old Lionel Pickens, the Queens rapper who performed as Chinx Drugz. But police have questioned two unidentified men, whom they took into custody in connection with the rapper's killing, the Associated Press reported.
Witnesses and police have said Pickens and another man were sitting in a Porsche around 4 a.m. Sunday at Queens Boulevard and 84th Drive in the Briarwood neighborhood of Queens. Another car pulled up alongside the Porsche, and someone in it fired multiple shots at the two men, police said. Pickens died from multiple gunshot wounds to the chest at a Queens hospital, while the other unnamed victim was in critical condition.
Pickens had just finished playing a concert in Brooklyn on Saturday night, the AP reported. “It was a black Mercedes that came right next to that car, and they let off shots,” witness Raymond Rivera told the AP. Rivera said he watched the shooting from one block away and saw Pickens get out of the Porsche before the rapper fell to the pavement.
Police have not revealed any other leads on a culprit. But an Instagram user claiming to have carried out the killing posted photos that seemed to celebrate the crime. The photos feature a weapon and a young man smiling, one with the caption "kill first then pray to God." Both photos have since been deleted from the Instagram account. Police have not confirmed whether the man is linked to the shooting.
Best known for his affiliation with French Montana's Coke Boys group and record label, Pickens made his name through the "Coke Boys" and "Cocaine Riot" mixtape series with Montana and other members of the Coke Boys stable. In an interview with urban radio station Hot 97, Pickens said the violence and drug-related imagery in his lyrics were not something he wanted his two children to imitate. “What dad’s doing is nothing different than what you see in the movies,” he said in the interview. “This is a movie with no picture. I’m just talking about it. This is not real.”