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Friend of Rap Exec Killed

Violence: Victim, who had ties to 'Suge' Knight, is gunned down at Compton gas station.

April 04, 2002|HECTOR BECERRA | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A former associate of rap music executive Marion "Suge" Knight was gunned down Wednesday at a Compton service station.

Alton McDonald, 37, was pumping gas at the Shell station at Rosecrans and Atlantic avenues near his family's home when "a dark pickup just drove up and started blasting," Sheriff's Lt. Don Bear said.

McDonald was hit several times in the upper body and died at St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood. A man who had been with him ran from the scene after the 2 p.m. shooting, authorities said.

Deputies said they believe several people were in the pickup, and that at least one got out and opened fire. The killers remain at large. Police found numerous large-caliber handgun casings around the gas pumps.

Knight, head of Death Row Records, went to the hospital Wednesday afternoon to visit McDonald and later paid his respects to McDonald's family at their home in Compton.

Officials at Death Row Records declined to comment on the shooting or say whether McDonald had been an employee. McDonald's family also declined to comment.

In the hours after the shooting, the Sheriff's Department sent a gang-enforcement team to search for suspects and stem further violence, said Sgt. Allen Harris.

According to court records, McDonald was in Las Vegas with Knight and rap star Tupac Shakur in 1996 when Shakur was killed in a drive-by shooting near the Strip. Knight was wounded.

Just hours before Shakur was killed, all three men had been involved in a scuffle in a hotel lobby that was captured by hotel surveillance cameras. Knight was jailed as a result of that incident after a judge determined that he had violated his probation on a previous assault conviction.

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