UPDATE at 3:56 p.m., Monday, Feb. 2, 2015: Knight has officially been charged with suspicion of murder. See our latest here. First posted at 7:10 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015. See further updates below. The headline has changed.
A man died in a Compton hit-and-run today, sheriff's officials said. TMZ is reporting that the suspected driver is rap mogul Marion “Suge” Knight and that the victim is a friend of Knight's.
The publication says that Knight got in a vehicle and “gunned it” after becoming “scared.” He took six bullets in summer and suffered a near-fatal blood clot more recently.
The site says Knight was visiting the set of a shoot featuring Ice Cube and Dr. Dre, who were not there at the time, when he got into a fight with someone and then got into that
car truck and allegedly backed into two victims.
L.A. Sheriff's Department officials would not confirm or deny Knight's involvement, telling us that more information would be released at the scene shortly.
The collision was reported at 2:55 p.m. in the 1200 block of West Rosecrans Avenue, according to a sheriff's statement:
There are two victims that were transported to a local hospital to be treated for their injuries. A male adult was pronounced dead at the hospital. The second victim is in unknown condition.
The L.A. County Department of Coroner says it's aware of the case but that it had yet to receive the victim's body. No official identification had been made.
TMZ says Knight's lawyer is arranging for the mogul to surrender to deputies so they can continue their investigation.
We reached out to two attorneys who recently represented Knight but had yet to hear back.
UPDATE at 7:36 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 29: The Hollywood Reporter says the hit-and-run happened near the set of a “promotional shoot” for Straight Outta Compton, an upcoming biopic about the rap group that made Cube and Dre famous, NWA.
The publication says the day's shooting had wrapped by the time the collision happened.
UPDATE at 7:44 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 29: A sheriff's official confirms to L.A. Weekly that homicide detectives are trying to “get in contact with Suge.”
UPDATE at 8:38 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 29: The official now says that Knight is “a person of interest” in the case.
UPDATE at 10:12 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 29: Sheriff's Lt. John Corina told reporters at the scene tonight that homicide detectives were treating the collision as an allegedly intentional act. He said that Knight, reportedly driving his distinctively red pickup truck, struck twice by moving the vehicle backward and forward.
A young witness told Fox 11 News that he believed the act at Tam's Burgers in Compton was allegedly done on purpose.
The station says that Knight's truck was found by authorities parked in Westwood, near the office of his attorney.
Knight remained at-large.
UPDATE at 12:56 a.m., Friday, Jan. 30: A sheriff's statement describes Knight as a “suspect.” Here's the core of the narrative:
… Two individuals were hanging out at the rear parking lot of a business when a red pick-up truck approached. The driver of the pick-up truck became involved in a verbal argument with the individuals from the parking lot. The argument escalated and the driver backed up striking one of the victims. The driver then drove forward driving over both victims. The red truck was last seen northbound on Central Avenue and out of view.
Various witnesses described the driver as being Marion Suge Knight. The suspect’s vehicle is described as a red Ford F-150 Raptor. This vehicle is similar to the vehicle driven by Marion Suge Knight.
Lt. Corina told reporters that the victims had been in an earlier altercation with Knight at the site of the film shoot. “Those people were also at the other altercation,” he said.
Witnesses told investigators “it looked like an intentional act, so we're treating it as a homicide,” the lieutenant said.
Witness Robert Smith, the young man described above, told reporters that Knight “backed his car up and uh … he hit Terry Carter,” who is the man identified in reports as the fatality. He was described as an actor and a close friend of the rap executive.
UPDATE at 2:23 a.m. Friday, Jan. 30, 2015: Knight went to the West Hollywood sheriff's station with his attorney this morning. Here's the core of the latest sheriff's statement:
Suge Knight, a person of interest in a fatal traffic incident in Compton, is at West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station with his attorney and is being interviewed by Homicide detectives.
UPDATE at 9:49 a.m., Friday, Jan. 30, 2015: Sheriff's officials said they arrested 49-year-old Knight on suspicion of murder:
Homicide Detective have arrested Marion “Suge” Knight for Murder. He was booked at West Hollywood Station at approximately 3:00 a.m. and is being held in lieu of $2,000,000 bail.
UPDATE at 4:14 p.m., Friday, Jan. 30, 2015: Sheriff's inmate records show that Knight is scheduled to appear in Superior Court downtown at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday. His bail is now $2.025 million, according to those records.