Rapper Killer Mike speaks out after South Fulton barbershop damaged in shooting

Credit: WSBTV Videos

Caption
Atlanta rapper, advocate Killer Mike writes powerful message after his barbershop damaged in shootout

Credit: WSBTV Videos

There were no injuries Saturday night when someone shot up several businesses along Roosevelt Highway, including a barbershop owned by Atlanta rapper Killer Mike.

The artist and advocate said he was thankful only property was damaged as it can be replaced. In a Sunday morning Instagram post, he made a public plea to the men responsible.

“Please consider what would have happened if one of y’all actually hit one another,” the rapper said. “The jail, the lawyer fees, the funeral cost and two Black families’ loss.”

He went on to express his relief the shooters could “not hit the side of a barn” with a shotgun, because the next morning “y’all all are alive.”

Killer Mike, whose legal name is Michael Render, is one half of the hip-hop group Run the Jewels and operates the SWAG Shop barbershop out of locations in Edgewood and State Farm Arena. South Fulton police were called to the original Roosevelt Highway location in the Wayfield Foods Shopping plaza to investigate gunfire about 10:30 p.m. Saturday.

“Upon arrival, several businesses and vehicles appeared to have been struck by gunfire,” police spokesman Lt. Jubal Rogers said. “There were no reported injuries from this incident.”

No suspects were in custody Monday, according to Rogers.

The barbershop has been closed while it is being redeveloped. It was unknown if anyone was inside when the bullets started flying. Render said he was in the recording booth early Sunday morning when he learned the windows were shot out.

He did not believe it was a personal attack.

“I am not upset as property can be replaced,” he said. “I am sorry to my customers as this will continue pause the relaunch of the OG SWAG Shop barber Shop & store.”

Render is a longtime community organizer and has served as a mouthpiece for Black Southerners, standing alongside Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms when she called for peace during the volatile summer protests and sitting down with Gov. Brian Kemp last fall to discuss a range of issues, from human trafficking to government contracts.

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In a June 2020 opinion piece published in The Atlanta-Journal Constitution, Render said he was hopeful change was possible after several high-profile incidents of police violence. He called for dissenters to “plot, plan, mobilize and strategize.”

“What we are seeing is a passionate cry for justice, a cry that is neither timid nor uncertain, a cry that is conveying in the strongest sense possible that we will wait no longer,” he wrote. “While it is not my place to determine how and when oppressed people raise dissent, I am hoping that, in all we do, we will connect with the grassroots groups in our respective communities that our fighting for Black lives.”

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