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A popular music producer and rapper from Chicago’s hip-hop music scene has been murdered, his family says.
Javunte Wheeler, better known as "Squeak" and a part of the hip-hop collective Pivot Gang, was shot and killed on Monday, according to Fox 23. Also with him was his uncle, 27-year-old Darion Hood.
The shooting took place at around 12:36 p.m. in the Austin neighborhood of Chicago, not far from Hood’s home, according to Chicgao outlet The Triibe. Both men were shot in the head and taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where they were later pronounced dead.
Rayvita Pernell, Squeak’s younger sister, said the shooting was captured on a Ring doorbell video, according to The Chicago Sun-Times. Pernell said Squeak drove to his grandmother’s house and stepped out of the car to speak with Hood.
According to Pernell, footage showed an unidentified passenger exiting Squeak’s vehicle before shooting both men.
The suspect proceeded to get back into Squeak’s car and drive away, according to the Sun-Times.
Police have yet to make any arrests or release the name of a suspect.
“This person was in the car with him, and he knew him,” Rayvita Pernell told the Sun-Times. “So apparently, he trusted him and took him to his grandmother’s home and was talking with him at the trunk of the car, and this is what happened.”
Squeak was a member of the Chicago west side’s hip-hop collective, Pivot Gang, a group formed in 2012 consisting of independent rappers.
Pivot Gang took to Twitter to announce a balloon release ceremony for the two men at La Follette Park.
Squeak was one of seven siblings and one of four adopted by his late mother, according to The Chicago Sun-Times. It was his mother who called him "Squeak" as a young child.
“He was a sweet boy. They were all sweet. They were young kids who did kid things. There was nothing about him being on the streets,” said Rayvita Pernell in regards to Squeak and their siblings. “They were never violent. There were, ‘Yes, ma’am, no ma’am, yes auntie.’ This is how they talked.”
Pivot Gang posted a photo of the late musician to their 13,000-plus followers.
“We are heartbroken to share the news of the passing of one of our own, Squeak Pivot,” the post read. “We appreciate the support from the community at this time and ask that you keep Squeak’s family and friends in your prayers.”
Squeak was encouraged to join Pivot Gang on the insistence of his older brother and co-founder of the group, Frsh Waters, according to The Triibe.
“I make beats, and I DJ,” Squeak said in a 2020 interview with The Triibe’s ‘We Real Chicago’ show. “I made beats because I needed something to do while I was on house arrest. I just started making beats with [the] gang [Saba and Dae Dae].”
Pivot Gang commented on their post about the impact Squeak had in the industry.
“Squeak found his voice as a DJ and producer, becoming known as a Chicago staple and touring the country with his sound as a DJ and member of Pivot Gang. Being on this journey together while witnessing his growth as an artist and brother is something we’re extremely proud of.”
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