Newly released surveillance footage shows what led to Charlotte rapper DaBaby shooting and killing 19-year-old Jaylin Craig inside a Huntersville Walmart in 2018.
In a video obtained and released by Rolling Stone, DaBaby gets into a fight with Craig’s friend, Henry Douglas.
A portion of the footage shows DaBaby, whose real name is Jonathan Kirk, lunging at Douglas during the Nov. 5. 2018 incident. The video does not show the moment of the shooting — only the actions that led up to it.
The two men brawl between the aisles of the store on Bryton Town Center Drive as spectators and shoppers and look on.
About three minutes into the 12-minute video, a woman pushing a shopping cart immediately abandons her groceries and runs away from the scuffle between the two men.
Seconds later, Kirk is seen entering into the frame and pointing a gun at someone before placing the firearm in his waistband. Kirk is not yet visible until he is seen punching Douglas.
Kirk has claimed self-defense in the shooting and was not arrested for his involvement in the incident.
Misdemeanor carrying a concealed gun charges were dismissed against Kirk in March 2020 after a “key civilian witness was unavailable,” The Charlotte Observer previously reported.
DaBaby explains what lead to confrontation
When interviewed by Huntersville Police, Kirk said he was at the Walmart with his girlfriend, son and daughter while shopping for baby clothes when he became uncomfortable after Craig and Douglas allegedly began staring at him.
“They were staring at me like they were about to come pull a gun out,” Kirk told police about 1-minute into an audio-recorded interview following the shooting. “I was in the store with my family being a father.”
Kirk said he didn’t know what the men wanted, but being recognizable and the “hottest artist” in Charlotte often brought unwanted attention, he said.
Kirk then told investigators the men approached him, and one of them allegedly said, “I thought that was you,” before walking away again. Kirk said Craig and Douglas continued staring until they approached him for a second time and reportedly asked him to “come outside.”
“That was they attention the whole time,” the rapper told police “That’s when I’m in defense mode right there. I knew they weren’t fans.”
Once the two men approached Kirk’s family, the rapper said he began “tussling” with Douglas. During the altercation, Craig pulled out a gun, the rapper claimed.
“He trying to get around his homeboy and shoot,” Kirk said.
Kirk said while Craig had the gun pointed at him Douglas attempted to reach to reach for a loaded gun stored in his waistband. He then told police he didn’t have his concealed carry permit at the time of the shooting.
“If I wouldn’t have had it concealed, I could be f—— dead in Walmart right now,” he told police. “Me and my family.”
Once the struggle ended, Kirk said he shot Craig, who he claimed pointed a gun at him. Kirk told police he knew Craig was armed because he heard some yell “gun, gun, gun.”
Victim’s friend counters DaBaby’s claims
Douglas told police he and Craig drove to the Walmart not long after the two friends ended their shifts at Wikoff Color Corporation in Fort Mill.
Douglas claimed Kirk was confrontational during both of the exchanges, and the rapper repeatedly asked them, “What y’all on?” Kirk asked them to “go outside” to fight, Douglas said.
Once Douglas turned around to “go outside,” Kirk was punching and grabbing him. Once the two separated, Douglas heard a gunshot and ran away.
Douglas said he didn’t know where Craig was during the incident, and when he walked around the store to find him, he couldn’t.
Craig owned guns, including a pistol, according to Douglas. But Douglas said Craig was not armed that day, telling police, “I doubt he had a gun because we just came from work.”
‘Jaylin Craig is gone’
“I feel like they just swept it up under the rug,” Craig’s mother, LaWanda Horsley, told Rolling Stone. “[Kirk] knows what he did. I’m not doing this for no fame or anything, because at the end of the day, Jaylin Craig is gone.”
DaBaby has referenced the shooting in numerous songs, including “No Tears” where he compiled news footage of the incident for the intro. He also spoke about the shooting in his Grammy-nominated song “Rockstar.”
In response to a Twitter user who questioned the reasoning behind the video’s release, Kirk said “the media got they a — brainwashed.” In another tweet on Monday, he posted a video of singer Tyrese crying and wrote “what more do you want from meeee?”
The release of the video comes weeks after a man was shot in the leg on Kirk’s property on Stillwater Road. Troutman Police are still investigating this incident and didn’t identify Kirk as the shooter, but said the rapper home during the incident.