Update: Zambia and a member of Waka Flocka's crew claim in a video interview to have knocked out The Game at a Culver City mall in September. The motive? Game had allegedly been "getting out of line on Twitter and shit." Inglewood homicide detectives say they're looking into the activity. Details below.
A young man named Jomo Adoula Zambia was murdered in broad daylight yesterday while driving his red BMW down Florence Avenue in Inglewood.
Inglewood police say he blew through the red light at Eucalyptus Avenue around 2:30 p.m., after being shot in the arm and torso -- broadsiding an on-duty police officer in an unmarked car.
That officer was pulled from the wreckage by L.A. County firefighters. He's currently in critical condition at a nearby hospital.
Zambia was rushed to the hospital as well, but died soon after. "Investigators are attempting to determine where and when the victim was shot," says Lieutenant Marie DiBernardo at the station. Two promising leads, so far, on that front:
Lead homicide Detective Gabriel de La Torre says Zambia's Twitter activity before the shooting is "a lead we're following."
According to de La Torre, the victim's handle was @rosemo700. Here are his final Tweets, which he apparently issued directly before the murder (though the clues could go much further back):More telling, perhaps, is a Tweet from his friend, under handle @DONTreadmyTWEET. The young Inglewood man writes, "Lost for words over this @rosemo700 shit!! Another Inglewood nigga gone do to some twitter fuckery RIP JOMO!!!" (The Twitter activity of Montae Talbert, a member of rap group Cali Swag District who was murdered earlier this year, likewise came under scrutiny during the homicide investigation.)
Detective de La Torre says preliminary information shows Zambia was 26 years old. On Facebook, he lists himself as a San Fernando Valley resident originally from Inglewood.
Here's another possible tie-in: Vanessa Place, the Los Angeles attorney who represented a young man named Jomo Zambia in a famous 2007 case in which the defendant was convicted of "encouraging another person to become a prostitute" in the Valley, says she was contacted last night by emergency personnel from the hospital.
They informed her that her former client had been murdered.
Though Zambia was sentenced to four years in prison, Place says his time was reduced to two years on "conduct credit" -- as can be expected for nonviolent crimes.
The pimp ruling was controversial one. Some justices and legal experts argued that, since the woman Zambia solicited to work for him was already a prostitute, he could not be accused of encouraging her to become one. However, the California Supreme Court eventually found him guilty:
... To encourage an established prostitute to change her business relationship necessarily implies that a defendant intends a victim "to become a prostitute" in the future regardless of her current status. We also think it safe to say that someone who encourages another to become a prostitute is seldom giving disinterested advice about a possible career path. The phrase "encourages another person to become a prostitute" can readily be understood to encompass the goal that the target "become a prostitute" in the future for the benefit of the encourager or some other pimp.
Zambia had been caught red-handed in a police prostitution sting. The setup is detailed in People v. Zambia court documents:
On June 8, 2007, Officer Erika Cruz was working undercover as a street prostitute in Los Angeles. Defendant drove past her, looked in her direction, made a U-turn, and stopped about 15 feet across the street from her. Defendant lowered his window and told Cruz to get into his truck. When Cruz asked why, defendant said he was a pimp. The officer told him to back up so they could talk. As he did so, Cruz called Officer Paschal, her "security officer" to report that she was possibly "working a pimp."
Standing by the defendant's open passenger-side window, Officer Cruz saw cell phones on the truck‟s center console. Defendant again told her to get in the truck, repeating that he was a pimp. Cruz asked what defendant meant. He said that he would "take care of [her]" and asked how much money she had in her possession. Hearing that she had $400, defendant said if she gave the money to him, he would provide her with housing and clothing.
Officer Cruz hesitated, telling defendant she was not comfortable. Defendant told her he was a legitimate businessman, showed her a business card, and said he would not "strong-arm" her, which Cruz understood to mean to take her money by force. Cruz testified that defendant used an aggressive tone of voice and demeanor. She characterized him as acting like a "gorilla pimp," or one who uses "verbal threats and violence to get their way and to scare prostitutes into working for them." Cruz asked defendant if she could continue to work the same neighborhood. Defendant told her she could and that he would "just take care of [her]."
Today, Iman Douglas, who says she's a friend of the victim's sister, writes on Twitter, "I never met u but ur sis talked about u ALL the time! She loved her Lil Brother so much! She's heartbroken RIP Jomo." (Also, "I'm am so tired of this GHETTO STREET SHIT!!!!!")
Did you know the victim, or witness his car crash with an Inglewood police officer yesterday? Please let us know. Information regarding the crime can also be phoned into the Inglewood Police Department at (888) 401-CRIME.
Zambia accuses the big-money rap star of saying he was going to knock out "Ice Burgandy" -- who's in rapper Waka Flocka's crew, and who Zambia calls his "bro from the sandbox." (Same @IceBurgandyBSM the shooting victim himself was name-dropping on Twitter in his final hours.)
The Game denied the embarrassing allegations, saying he was landing at LAX at the time of the alleged beatdown.
But Zambia laughs that off, showing the camera his "banged-up hand" and describing the run-in in detail. "I hit him with the left first... he was falling like a tree, like slow motion," he says.
He calls The Game "a clown... with butterflies on his face" and "an industry internet nigger... with a red mohawk." No match, apparently, for a "real street nigger from Inglewood and HP."
He also mentions having "been to the pen," which would line up with the 2007 pimp conviction.
Both Zambia and The Game (real name Jayceon Taylor) are members of the Bloods, though Taylor hails from next-door Compton. Inglewood detectives tell the LA Weekly they're fielding dozens of tips regarding this very public beef, and are actively looking into the Twitter-fueled mall incident as a top lead.
Update No. 2: Looks like Zambia (aka RoseMo) may have a history of punching dudes on Ice Burgandy's behalf. In August, Boo Boo TV reported that "Brick Squad Monopoly affiliate RoseMo put the beats on local L.A. rapper Boscoe1."
Here's that smalltime rapper's story:
Meanwhile, the Twittersphere is blowing up with people saying stuff like "hyping these things up on Worldstar and twitter is dangerous" and "Rosemo promoted and supported black on black violence its not a surprise that he got murdered."
One thing is apparent: Twitter beef might need its own chapter in the homicide-detective handbook, going forward. Especially down in southeast L.A. County.
Update No. 3: Not to say this has any connection, but it's worth noting that the Game's former manager was Jimmy Henchman, same sketchy Interscope mogul tied to the murder of rapper 50 Cent's associate. (The Game and 50 Cent are notorious rivals. And Henchman is only a "former" manager because he was recently pinned by the feds for cross-country coke trafficking. One last for-the-record: Henchman was also accused of hiring a hit on Tupac in 1994.)
The 2009 murder of 50 Cent's associate was arranged for the same reason RoseMo might have been offed yesterday: The associate had beaten up Henchman's son a couple years prior.
Just saying -- the Game hasn't exactly distanced himself from guys who have (allegedly) engaged in this kind of payback activity in the past.
Update No. 4: More and more, speculators are turning their attention toward the beef between RoseMo's crew and Boskoe1.
As we see in the following video, filmed by @2Eleven -- a friend of both RoseMo and Ice Burgandy, and a pretty big hip-hop artist in his own right -- the group rolled up on Boskoe1 just last weekend in a local park. RoseMo beat the rapper to a pulp. (In front of his friends and a playground full of children, no less.)
On an SOHH forum, commenters are calling RoseMo "Ice Burgandy's bodyguard." And get this: Taking the Twitter insults to the next level, Boskoe1 released two recent YouTube disses of Ice Burgandy. One the day before RoseMo beat him up, and one the day RoseMo was killed. Here they are:
"Fuck Ice Burgandy, and that RoseMo nigga," Boskoe1 raps, vowing to take the feud to the streets. But today, in light of the full-scale murder investigation underway, one commenter writes beneath the diss: "Homie betta take this shit down ASAP."
Following the confrontation in the park, @BOSKOE1 reeled off dozens of Tweets telling Ice Burgandy to fight his own battles.
For the record: Waka Flocka's publicist tells us that Flocka has no affiliation with RoseMo, though he has worked with Ice Burgandy.