Deadly Atlanta rap studio shooting featured on A&E’s ‘The First 48’

A deadly shooting at a southwest Atlanta recording studio was recently the subject of an episode on “The First 48.”

"Deadly Rap," which aired Thursday, details how aspiring rapper Jerome Blake, 28, was caught in the crossfire during a gun battle at The Metropolitan in 2016.

Three men — Casey Battle, Sheldon Dooley and Kenson Hunte — have been charged with murder and are awaiting trial. One suspect is still unidentified. Another man who ambushed the studio, 27-year-old Nathan Hannon, was also killed in the shooting.

Hunte, “a local big shot,” was involved but not at the studio during the shooting; Battle was inside the recording studio and let the other gunmen in, according to the episode. Hunte’s Instagram showed him posing in front of expensive cars, and one post said he bought Usher’s old penthouse with cash, detectives found.

Detectives believe the intended target was a rapper known as “Blood,” who shot back in self-defense. Battle, 18, said Hunte wanted him to help get $300,000 in cash and a chain necklace back from Blood.

“I watched Blizzy die,” Blood tells a detective about Blake in the episode. “I just happened to be in the booth. They could have shot me the same way.”

Blood said he’s become a target because his music career is taking off.

The shooting happened at The Metropolitan, a complex of residential and commercial spaces that takes up a city block at 675 Metropolitan Parkway. The studio has a violent reputation.

The episode shows a witness telling a detective that well-known rappers Ludacris, Young Thug and Birdman have used the studio before. He said people would stand outside the studio with AK-47s when Birdman was there.

Less than eight months after Blake's death, 23-year-old Joshua Sherrod of Atlanta was found shot to death outside of the same property.

Blake's father filed a lawsuit this year alleging that inept security played a role in his son's death.

The A&E show, which debuted in 2004, focuses on the first 48 hours of a murder case and how homicide detectives try to track down perpetrators as quickly as possible.

If you have information about the murders of Jerome Blake and Nathan Hannon, please call Atlanta Crime Stoppers at 404-577-TIPS.

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