Los Angeles police Wednesday identified a suspect in the killing of rapper PnB Rock during a robbery at a restaurant earlier this month, but they declined to confirm reports that the suspect’s 17-year-old son was already in custody and believed to be the gunman.
The Los Angeles Police Department Wednesday morning released a photo of Freddie Lee Trone, and said he was wanted in connection with the killing of the 30-year-old rapper, born Rakim Allen, who was shot about 1:25 p.m. Sept. 12 at Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles at 106 W. Manchester Ave., where he was eating lunch with his girlfriend.
Police said a male suspect walked up to the couple, drew a handgun, demanded PnB Rock’s jewelry, and shot him. The rapper died at a hospital.
“Freddie Lee Trone has been identified as being a person involved in the murder of Rakim Allen,” police said in a statement on Wednesday. “He should be considered armed and dangerous.”
Police did not release Trone’s age, however, previous jail records indicate he is 40 years old.
TMZ and Fox11 reported that Trone’s 17-year-old son was arrested Wednesday morning in connection with the killing and is believed to be the suspect who pulled the trigger, with Trone acting as the getaway driver. TMZ reported that the pair later burned the vehicle they were in during the crime.
The LAPD would not immediately confirm the reports.
TMZ and Fox11 both reported that Trone and his son were already in the restaurant parking lot when PnB Rock arrived, contradicting earlier suggestions that social media posts by the rapper and his girlfriend showing his jewelry and tagging their location led to the robbery and shooting.
Witnesses said the suspect and the rapper argued during the heist, culminating in the shooting, which was captured on the restaurant’s video surveillance system.
The shooting and its apparent link with an Instagram post was reminiscent of the 2020 killing of rapper Pop Smoke in the Hollywood Hills. In that case, the rapper had made a series of social media posts revealing his location and valuables he had in his possession.
On Twitter, singer Nicki Minaj lamented PnB Rock’s killing, writing, “After Pop Smoke there’s no way we as rappers or our loved ones are still posting locations to our whereabouts. To show waffles & some fried chicken????! He was such a pleasure to work with. Condolences to his mom & family. This makes me feel so sick. Jesus.”
Anyone with information on Trone’s location was asked to call Detectives Nellie Knight or Matthew Clark at 323-786-5146 or Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).