Rapper Lionel Pickens, a.k.a. Chinx, was killed in a drive-by shooting early Sunday morning, according to The New York Times. The incident occurred just after 4 a.m. in the Briarwood neighborhood of Queens, where Pickens and his friend Antar Alziadi were stopped at a traffic light. According to police reports, a second vehicle pulled up alongside Pickens’ Porche and opened fire, shooting through the driver’s side and striking both men. The two were taken to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, where Pickens later died. Alziadi is reportedly in stable condition after suffering a punctured lung.
After serving a four-year sentence in Mid-State Correctional Facility, Pickens told XXL that he left prison focused on furthering his music career. While he had yet to reach a national audience, the 31-year-old rapper had collaborated with artists including Ace Hood, Meek Mill, and French Montana, and was working on a debut solo album, Welcome To JFK.
A native of Far Rockaway, Queens, Pickens was returning home from a Saturday evening performance at Brooklyn club Redwolf, and was intending to drop off Alziadi at a nearby subway station when the shooting occured. No arrests have been made, and police are searching for video footage to help identify a black Mercedes that witnesses say sped away from the scene.
While detectives are still searching for assailants, Queens residents spent Sunday lamenting Pickens’ death, another example of violence claiming the lives of local artists. A shrine was placed at the intersection where the shooting occurred, and mourners assembled on Sunday near Picken’s home. “There are no success stories out here,” said one resident. “You’re killed when you get successful.” The shooting also reverberated through the hip-hop community. “The hood gotta stop glorifying suckas that kill good people!” Meek Mill posted to Twitter. Speaking at a concert, Jay Z said, “We are seriously under attack like never before.” Pickens leaves behind two children.