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Crime News Breaking News

Man Suspected Of Gunning Down Memphis Rapper Young Dolph Outside Cookie Shop Is Arrested

Adolph Robert Thornton Jr., known under the stage name Young Dolph, was fatally shot in broad daylight Nov. 17 outside a south Memphis cookie store. 

By Jill Sederstrom
Justin Johnson Pd

A man suspected of gunning down Memphis rapper Young Dolph outside a cookie shop in November was arrested Tuesday in Indiana.

The U.S. Marshals announced that Justin Johnson was taken into custody around 3 p.m. Tuesday in Indiana after an extensive search to find the fugitive.

The U.S. Marshals Service, Memphis Police Department, Crime Stoppers and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation had announced a $15,000 reward for information leading to Johnson’s capture last week in the case, noting police had issued a first-degree murder warrant for his arrest.

He was also wanted on an outstanding warrant for violation of his federal supervised release.  

Authorities allege Johnson, 23, shot Young Dolph—whose real name is Adolph Robert Thornton, Jr.—on Nov. 17 in broad daylight outside Makeda’s Cookies in south Memphis.

The Shelby County District Attorney’s Office said a second suspect in the case, 32-year-old Cornelius Smith, has also been indicted by a grand jury for first-degree murder and other charges in connection with the slaying, The Associated Press reports.

Surveillance footage captured two men driving a white two-door Mercedes pull up behind Thornton’s custom camouflage Corvette as it was parked in the store’s parking lot. The two men then jumped out of the vehicle and shot Thornton multiple times before fleeing the scene, police said.

In images released by the department, one man can be seen wielding an AK-47-style, short-barreled automatic or semi-automatic rifle while the second man is seen carrying a handgun.

Young Dolph Suspect 3

Authorities said Johnson has “ties to organized criminal gangs.”

It’s not clear what led authorities to his location Tuesday in Indiana. Shortly before his arrest, Johnson claimed on social media that he was planning to turn himself in to the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, but he never showed up at the station, local station WHBQ-TV reports.

The U.S. Marshals Service plans to hold a press conference in conjunction with the Memphis Police and Shelby County District Attorney’s Office on Wednesday to provide more details about the arrest.

Smith, who was also charged in connection with firing shots at Thornton’s younger brother who had been at the cookie store that day, is currently being held at the Shelby County Jail, according to the news outlet.

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