Atlanta rapper Silento, best known for his smash hit and viral dance craze “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae),” has been arrested in Georgia and charged with murder in connection to the death of his cousin, Frederick Rooks.
The rapper, whose real name is Richard "Ricky" Lamar Hawk, was arrested Monday, February 1, after police investigated the recent death of Rooks, 34. The DeKalb County Police Department announced the news in a tweet.
“Today, Ricky Hawk, 23, was arrested for the murder of his cousin Frederick Rooks, 34," the tweet read. "On January 21, the DeKalb County Police Department investigated Rooks’ death after he was found shot on Deep Shoals Circle. Hawk is in the DeKalb County Jail charged with Murder.”
On January 21, Rooks was found with multiple gunshot wounds laying in the middle of the street, according to law enforcement. He was pronounced dead at the scene. “After a thorough investigation, DKPD detectives identified Hawk as Rooks’ cousin, and the person responsible for Rooks’ murder,” police spokeswoman Michaela Vincent told The Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Officers who arrived on the scene were able to gather video from multiple residents’ security cameras, according to the outlet. Video showed several cars fleeing the scene of the crime at high speeds, and at least one gunshot was captured on tape. Eight bullet casings in total were collected at the scene. Local authorities are still working to uncover a motive for the shooting.
Silento’s arrest comes four months after he was charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon in California. According to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office, the rapper had walked into an unlocked stranger’s home in the Valley Village neighborhood of Los Angeles, and tried to hit two people with a hatchet before one of them was able to disarm him.
The 23-year-old rose to fame as a teenage rap sensation in 2015; his “Watch Me” video has been viewed nearly 1.8 billion times on YouTube.