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Rap artist A$AP Rocky has been formally charged with assault in connection with a 2021 shooting in Hollywood.
The 33-year-old rapper, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, was charged with two counts of assault with a semi-automatic firearm, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced Monday. The charges include a firearms enhancement, accusing Mayers of the personal use of a gun, which could carry an additional penalty if Mayers is convicted.
District Attorney George Gascón said the charges stem from a Nov. 6, 2021 incident between the rapper and a “former friend” in Hollywood, following a “heated discussion.”
“Mayers allegedly pointed a semi-automatic handgun at the victim,” said the district attorney’s office. “In a subsequent confrontation between the parties, Mayers allegedly drew the semi-automatic handgun and fired twice in the direction of the victim.”
Mayers allegedly left the victim with minor injuries before fleeing the scene with two other men, according to Fox News. The victim was said to have sustained a graze wound to his left hand.
In April, authorities arrested Mayers on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon regards to the same incident.
Police placed him into custody at the Los Angeles International Airport after the musician disembarked from a private aircraft. He and his then-pregnant partner, pop star and beauty mogul Rihanna - had just returned from vacationing in Barbados, Rihanna’s home country.
Mayers was released on $550,000 bond the same day, according to the LA Times.
LAPD officials said they’d been surveilling the rapper for some time and searched his Los Angeles residence shortly after his arrest in search of evidence related to the November shooting. Authorities allegedly used a small battering ram and pry bar to enter Mayers’ property and residence, according to the Times.
“Discharging a gun in a public place is a serious offense that could have ended with tragic consequences, not only of that person targeted but also for the innocent bystanders visiting Hollywood,” said District Attorney Gascón in Monday’s release. “My office conducted a thorough review of the evidence in this case and determined that the addition of a special allegation was warranted.”
Mayers gained notoriety after a video surfaced in 2019, showing the rapper’s entourage engaged in a street brawl in Sweden. The singer’s arrest for “gross assault” prompted him to publish a series of social videos proclaiming his innocence. Other high-profile figures - including former U.S. President Donald Trump and celebrity Kim Kardashian - urged Swedish officials to release the rapper.
The artist was detained for six weeks as authorities built a case. In his defense, Mayers claimed his crew had acted in self-defense when throwing the victim to the ground before kicking and punching the man.
Mayers was found guilty of simple assault and ordered to pay the equivalent of $1,300 in restitution. He was not sentenced to serve time in jail.
For the recent charges, Mayers is scheduled to appear at the Foltz Criminal Justice Center in Los Angeles for his arraignment on Aug. 17, according to the District Attorney’s Office. The case remains under investigation by the LAPD’s Robbery-Homicide Division.
Mayers and Rihanna welcomed their first child on May 13, according to TMZ.
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