According to police in Miramar, Florida, on October 26, the rapper YNW Melly shot and killed his friends Anthony Williams, 21, and Christopher Thomas Jr., 19, and then, with the help of another man, manipulated the crime scene to make it appear as if the two men had been the victims of a drive-by shooting.
On Wednesday, the rapper turned himself into Washington D.C. where a night prior he had performed at Union Stage, the second stop on his “We All Shine” Tour. Melly is being charged with two counts of first-degree murder in connection with the October shooting deaths, The Sun-Sentinel reported. The victims, Williams and Thomas Jr., had been described as Melly’s close friends and were also aspiring rappers. They were apart of Melly’s “Young New World” collective and went by the monikers YNW Sakchaser and YNW Juvy respectively.
Melly’s friend Cortlen Henry, 20, was also arrested and charged with two counts of first-degree murder. He is believed to have assisted Melly in the crime. According to the police, Henry was the driver of the Jeep Compass which delivered Williams and Thomas Jr. to the Memorial Hospital Miramar emergency room at 4:35 am on October 26. Both Williams and Thomas had suffered multiple gunshot wounds and were pronounced dead at the hospital.
Investigators found that the statement that Henry gave the police didn’t match the evidence they had discovered during the preliminary investigation. Police believe that after Melly shot and killed the two victims, he and Henry damaged the Jeep Compass to make it appear as if a drive-by shooting had taken place.
Melly is the latest in a string of exciting, young rappers to emerge from South Florida. His debut album We All Shine was released last month and featured a guest appearance from Kanye West. On Wednesday evening, Melly gave a statement addressing the arrest via his Instagram.
I want you guys to know I love you and appreciate every single one of y’all, a couple months ago I lost my two brothers by violence and now the system want to find justice.. unfortunately a lot of rumors and lies are being said but no worries god is with me and my brother @ynw.bortlen and we want y’all to remember it’s a ynw Family I love you @ynwsakchaser1 and @ynwjuvy #freeus.