Rapper King Von, 2 others fatally shot at Atlanta nightclub, GBI says

Chicago man was struck ’prior to police responding' to hookah lounge
Three men, including the Chicago rapper, were killed Friday morning when a fight outside a downtown Atlanta nightclub escalated to gunfire.



Three men, including the Chicago rapper, were killed Friday morning when a fight outside a downtown Atlanta nightclub escalated to gunfire.

An up-and-coming Chicago rapper was one of three men killed Friday morning when a fight outside a downtown Atlanta nightclub escalated to gunfire, and police working in the area attempted to intervene.

Investigators believe King Von, whose real name was Dayvon Bennett, was fatally wounded in the parking lot of the Monaco Hookah Lounge on Trinity Avenue prior to the officers’ involvement, according to Atlanta police. The GBI has not confirmed that account and is still working to determine who fired the fatal rounds that killed the rapper and two other unidentified men.

Several others were injured in the resulting chaos, including one person hit by a vehicle when the crowd scattered, police said. The GBI is investigating the incident as an officer-involved shooting.

Surveillance footage posted to Twitter on Friday appears to show the shooting during a brawl outside the nightclub, Atlanta police confirmed.

In the video, a large group is seen leaving the club as punches are thrown. The group scatters after one man steps out from behind an SUV and begins firing, striking what appears to be at least two people. One of the victims, presumably Bennett, is then loaded into a car and driven away from the scene.

No officers appear to be involved in the initial shooting, and the video aligns with the Atlanta Police Department’s description of events.

Two of the officers were in uniform working off-duty security jobs at the hookah lounge, and a third was on-duty nearby, according to police. None of the officers were injured.

King Von, 26, was signed to fellow Chicago rapper Lil Durk’s Only the Family label and Empire Distribution. He recently released a 16-track album and was set to premiere a music video for the song “Armed & Dangerous” on Friday, according to his Instagram page.

“At this time, our investigators believe Mr. Bennett was shot during the initial shootout between the two groups of males, prior to police responding and attempting to stop the shooting,” Atlanta police spokesman Officer Anthony Grant said in a statement. “Additionally, Mr. Bennett was not located at the scene, but arrived at a hospital shortly after the shooting, via private vehicle. The investigation into this incident remains open and very active.”

Two officers were working off-duty security jobs at the hookah lounge and a third was on-duty nearby, according to police.


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It was the second shooting at the Monaco in a span of 24 hours. Two people were wounded there early Thursday, but investigators have no evidence that incident was related to Friday morning’s deadly bout of gunfire, according to Atlanta police Deputy Chief Timothy Peek.

The latest incident began shortly after 3 a.m. when an argument between two groups turned physical in the parking lot, Peek told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution from the scene.

“That physical altercation escalated into an exchange of gunfire with those groups,” Peek said. “Two police officers who were working at that particular club, or lounge, noticed the altercation and engaged some of the people involved. There was an exchange of gunfire with police as well.”

Two men died at the scene, and Bennett later died at a hospital. Two more gunshot victims and the person hit by the vehicle were stable Friday morning.

Peek said investigators believe all six were involved in the initial dispute. In an update provided Friday afternoon, police said an additional two suspects were detained at the scene and are likely to face charges.

The GBI was called to the scene early Friday morning to investigate the incident as an officer-involved shooting.


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Peek said bullets were flying in several directions across the scattered crime scene, which he called “pretty chaotic.” There could be additional shooting victims that have yet to turn up, the deputy chief said.

After an initial investigation, it was determined that one of the off-duty officers and the on-duty patrolman fired shots.

“The officers did shoot, but we want to ensure we look at the evidence and be able to prove who did what," he said. “That’s why we are dependent on the GBI.”

Bennett was arrested in Atlanta last year along with Lil Durk, whose real name is Durk Derrick Banks, following a February shooting outside The Varsity that left a man seriously injured, AJC.com previously reported.

He was charged in June 2019 with aggravated assault, criminal attempt to commit murder, participating in criminal street gang activity, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, Fulton County Jail records show. Less than three months after his release, he was arrested again by Atlanta police on an aggravated battery charge.

Rappers Lil Durk (front) and King Von appear during a court hearing last year following their arrests in a February shooting outside The Varsity.

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

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Credit: Channel 2 Action News

The case against both Bennett and Banks was still pending, and the two rappers were prohibited from contacting each other pending the outcome of their case, according to a spokesman for the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office.

The Chicago rapper had a lengthy rap sheet, serving several stints behind bars when he was younger, according to multiple music outlets. In 2014, Bennett was charged with murder following a triple shooting that left one man dead in Chicago. He was ultimately acquitted after spending more than three years in jail, he said during a June interview.

Fans and fellow rappers took to social media Friday as word of King Von’s death spread online. Among them was NBA superstar LeBron James, who said he regularly listened to Bennett’s music with his two oldest sons.

“Bronny, Bryce and I rocked with his music and story telling!” the Lakers forward said. “The kid had a damn good future ahead of him.”

The two appeared to be fond of each other, and King Von named his second studio album “Levon James.”

“Lebron’s the dawg. He’s built from scratch,” Bennett told passionweiss.com when asked why he named the March album after James. “We know Lebron’s name. Fool goes crazy — all-around best player in the NBA.”

Grammy Award-winning Chance the Rapper also offered his condolences in a tweet.

“Wow. This year was so tough,” the fellow Chicago rapper wrote. “rip von God bless him and his family I can’t believe it.”

Bennett’s record label, Empire, released a statement saying the company was devastated by the rapper’s death.

“He was a loving father, dedicated member of his community and an amazing talent that just started to scratch the surface of his boundless potential,” Empire said in a tweet.

Friday morning’s incident was the 82nd officer-involved shooting the GBI has been asked to investigate this year. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution also tracks officer-involved shootings that don’t involve the GBI, and those numbers sometimes differ from the GBI’s tally.

― Please return to AJC.com for updates.