Police were called to Compton on Thursday in response to a fatal hit-and-run near the set of a promotional shoot for Straight Outta Compton, an upcoming biopic about the rap group NWA. The driver was rap mogul Suge Knight, his attorney James Blatt confirmed.
Blatt told NBC News that Knight was driving the truck and called it a “tragic accident,” adding that Knight was making arrangements to surrender to authorities. Detectives are investigating the incident as a homicide. Knight’s attorney had earlier confirmed the incident to Billboard and said, “facts all over the place right now” and he is waiting for a preliminary investigation to learn more.
Knight later turned himself in and was charged with murder.
Universal declined to comment, but sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that the incident occurred on or near the set of a promo shoot associated with the film.
Sources say the incident occurred after shooting had wrapped for the day. Dr. Dre and Ice Cube, who were present during the shoot, were not present at the time of the incident.
The film Straight Outta Compton has wrapped production.
Lt. John Corina of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department detective’s unit, told the LA Times that the confrontation began around 3 p.m. when Knight and two unidentified men began arguing on the set and that at least one of the victims was a member of the film crew.
Corina said that about 20 minutes after the alleged argument on set, the victims visited Tam’s Burgers near Central and East Rosecrans avenues. Knight, 49, is believed to have followed the men in his truck before running them over the parking lot before leaving the scene.
“They obviously knew each other,” Corina told the Times. “They got into some kind of verbal altercation and it escalated. So far the people we talked to said it looked like an intentional act so we are handling it like a homicide.”
LASD confirmed that one of the victims, a 55-year-old man, died. The other, a 51-year-old man, sustained undisclosed injuries. According to TMZ, the dead victim was Terry Carter, a friend of Knight’s. Actor Cle “Bone” Sloan was also reportedly struck with the vehicle, and received non-life threatening injuries.
Knight is known as the co-founder of Death Row Records and currently serves as CEO of Black Kapital Records. He has had multiple run-ins with the law over the years. He was the victim of a shooting in August at a pre MTV Video Music Awards party.
Straight Outta Compton is being directed by F. Gary Gray and is set for an Aug. 14 release. The film is set in the1980s and tells the story of the group’s rise to fame.
O’Shea Jackson Jr., Corey Hawkins and Jason Mitchell are starring as Ice Cube, Dr. Dre and Eazy-E, respectively.
Jan. 29, 8:05 p.m. Updated with news of Knight preparing to surrender to authorities.
Jan. 29, 9:20 p.m. Updated with information from Lt. John Corina, LASD, cited by LA Times.