Toronto rapper Houdini was shot and killed in downtown Toronto on Tuesday afternoon. He was 21.
Police say a 21-year-old man was pronounced dead and two others were injured after gunfire erupted around 4 p.m. Tuesday outside the Bisha Hotel in Toronto’s Entertainment District.
Toronto police confirmed the victim was Houdini, whose real name is Dimarjio Antonio Jenkins. A 15-year-old boy and a 27-year-old woman who were also injured in the incident are expected to recover.
Toronto police Chief Mark Saunders said it appears the shooting was targeted.
“It turns out the suspect vehicle, based on the evidence we have right now, was waiting for about 40 minutes,” Saunders said.
He said the suspect was waiting until the victims made their way to a vehicle.
“The suspect vehicle made a U-turn, came out and started firing at this group of individuals,” Saunders said, adding that it’s believed the two male victims were targeted but the woman had “absolutely nothing” to do with the situation.
The vehicle to which the victims were heading, meanwhile, left the scene and it’s unclear where it went, he said.
Saunders called the shooting a “very solvable” case given the amount of evidence gathered thus far.
Houdini, who grew up in Brampton, Ont., was one of the most-streamed independent Canadian rappers, with 9.2 million plays on Spotify in 2019.
The 21-year-old musician started rapping and writing his own music at age 15 and was planning to drop his latest EP, underGROUND, later this summer, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, he released it early.
“I mean, s–t. It’s a good time for me because everyone’s at home, just on their phone. So I have a chance of getting a lot of streams on this EP, he said in an interview with Complex. “But something just told me, ‘Yo, if you have the ability to just drop music, do it. Do it as much as you can.’ So I’m just doing it. Even if people aren’t feeling it, I feel it. I drop what I like. You never know what song is going to leave an impact on people and change people’s lives and s–t.
“I have a strong belief in fate. I’m just manifesting right now,” Houdini added.
Houdini said he wanted to remain an independent artist because “when you’re signed, people expect way more from you.”
“Like, your numbers got to be up there, you have to make sure you maintain the way you look, maintain just your whole aura. Everything. But when you’re underground, you’re more in control. You’re still kind of in the field and making music, so you could do s–t,” he added.
Houdini is well-known for his tracks Late Nights with Burna Bandz, Myself, Backseats and Big Time.
On Tuesday night, many fans and friends of Houdini took to social media to mourn the loss of the Toronto rapper.
Toronto rapper Tory Lanez, who worked with Houdini, wrote: “I’m trying, and I can’t fight the tears from falling .. I can’t even find the words for a speech right now .. YALL TOOK MY F—ING N—- AND ALL HE WANTED TO DO WAS LIVE !!!!!! #RIP Houdini 4 Ever!”
Meek Mill wrote: “I Rocked WIT YOUNGBULL VIBE AS A PERSON RIP! PRAYERS TO HIS SIDE!”
Killy wrote: “Rest In Paradise Brother @houdini Young Legend!! This One Hit Real Close.. Greatness breeds Jealousy Prayers Up.”
Many others posted tributes to the late rapper on social media.
Rest In Peace to Toronto Rapper #houdini our condolences go out to his family & loved ones. He was truly on his way to being a major player in Toronto. We were actually working with him on his Before They Were Famous Before he passed , I hope to finish what we were working on. pic.twitter.com/iFYMsExIpB
— Before They Were Famous (@mccruddenm) May 27, 2020
Someone who was just shaping Toronto’s landscape of music.
It’s crazy that we’ve become desensitized to this useless violence.
— Noah Miller (@iamnoahmiller) May 27, 2020
Rest easy Houdini 🕊
There's been too much violence in this city taking away Toronto artists too soon. Hoping this violence can stop pic.twitter.com/JShM1rUHWX
— Sidedoor (@sidedoormag) May 27, 2020
Rest In Peace to Houdini. Super talented and gone too early. Backseat reminds me of summer 2019, one of my favourite songs ever
— Mucho TV (@muchotv1) May 27, 2020
Popular Toronto rapper Houdini pronounced dead after being gunned down today. 😔💔 pic.twitter.com/Cn4JrXPKAV
— rapoutage (@rapoutage) May 27, 2020
RIP to Toronto rapper Houdini 🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/xkagRWCzSr
— 247 Live Culture (@247LC) May 27, 2020
Rest in paradise Houdini. Gone too soon 🕊 pic.twitter.com/MDwijKdBmv
— T'VO! 🧙🏾♂️ (@TVNXIRE) May 27, 2020
Rest In Peace Houdini, one of the top Toronto Rappers fr 🕊 pic.twitter.com/WzM7RbKz8b
— MT🏌🏾♂️ (@MT9i_) May 27, 2020
Rip Houdini, u deserved better 🤧🕊❤️ pic.twitter.com/L4GVgr7HRe
— Milena. (@miilenacaastroo) May 27, 2020
— With files from Global News’ Ryan Rocca
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