Rapper Silento Charged With Murdering His Cousin

attends the 2016 BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on June 26, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.

Rapper Silento Charged With Murdering His Cousin

The rapper behind the viral hit song “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)" is being held on one count of felony murder without bond.

Published February 2nd

Written by BET Staff

Silento, the rapper behind the viral hit song “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)," has been arrested. The 23-year-old was charged with murder in the death of his older cousin, Frederick Rooks, 34. 

According to the DeKalb County Police Department, the 23-year-old born Richard “Ricky” Lamar Hawk, was taken into custody on Monday (Feb. 1). Online jail records report that he is being held on one count of felony murder without bond.  

RELATED: Silento Arrested After Driving 143 MPH On Atlanta Highway

The former rap star found global success in 2015 with his song and popular dance  “Whip/Nae Nae”. His song peaked No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100, Complex  reports. 

On Jan. 21 at 3:30 am, a series of gunshots were heard by neighbors, in Panthersville, Georgia. Rooks was reportedly found in the middle of a residential street with multiple gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene, Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes. 

Responding officers were able to obtain video from the security cameras of multiple residents, the AJC reports. Videos captured at least one gunshot and show several vehicles fleeing the scene. 

According to the police report, eight bullet casings were collected at the scene. 

“After a thorough investigation, DKPD detectives identified Hawk as Rooks’ cousin, and the person responsible for Rooks’ murder,” said police spokeswoman Michaela Vincent in a statement noting that detectives are still trying to uncover a motive for the shooting 

Silento was arrested twice in one week last year for two separate incidents. 

ABC News affiliate KABC reported that the Atlanta native was first arrested on domestic violence and assault with a deadly weapon charges in Orange County, California and Los Angeles on Aug. 28. He was booked, released and charged with inflicting corporal punishment on a spouse or cohabitant.

A day later, the rapper was arrested a second time and charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

(Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)


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