Written by Staff Writer by Antonia Blumberg, CNN
Taariq Ahmed, an American writer and editor from Birmingham, UK, known for his distinct prose and keen social commentary, has reacted to the death of Taariq Ahmed’s younger brother Dolph, better known as “Young Dolph,” who was shot and killed at a gas station in Memphis, Tennessee last night.
Taariq Ahmed, son of acclaimed writer and poet Ishmael Reed
Writing on Twitter he expressed his grief for his sibling’s family and said Dolph’s death was “sad and senseless” and all that mattered is the young man’s death was unclaimed.
He also called for heightened awareness about gun violence and what he called “ghetto narratives.”
“The cultural and political trauma of child childhood mortality evokes such a deep and fearsome sadness that I have no words,” he wrote.
“Because this is about humanity. We must all be united in remembering him and the other killings last night in a different way. We are all human beings. Because kids are being killed in America. And nobody seems to care.”
Dolph, who had previously spoken openly about the physical and emotional struggles he and his family have experienced, was a popular Memphis-based rapper. He gained notoriety on 2017 for his song, “Go Crazy,” which attracted 1.5 million views in two weeks.
The track went viral in the wake of protests after the shooting death of several black residents in the city.
Dolph was reportedly involved in a shooting at a gasoline station in Memphis Tuesday night. He was one of five people injured and died in hospital Wednesday morning.
Neither police nor relatives have claimed his body, police say they have reviewed surveillance footage from the gas station, and are awaiting the results of an autopsy.
A representative for Dolph’s label, Stax Records, told CNN that Dolph “died in the hospital” but declined to comment further.
On Tuesday night, a police spokesman said that there was an apparent “disturbance” that “started at the gas station and continued when police arrived.” The report did not say whether the bandit died as a result of gunfire.
The family’s lawyer’s office said Dolph was struck by more than one shot, one of which had passed through his neck and out his back. His mother and other relatives, including his older brother, were at the scene of the shooting when they found him.
Although a witness told CNN affiliate WREG that she heard as many as 10 gunshots, Memphis police say the number was likely in the single digits. A spokesperson for the department said there has been no evidence to suggest the fatal shots were fired in self-defense.
Tributes have poured in from journalists, activists and musicians alike.
“The world needs more people like you Taariq Ahmed, Dolph, and today in America, you were taken from us young people before your time.”
– Micheal Gerson, journalist/author
“Literature is one of the ways I look for hope and I know how difficult it is to find today. It makes me sad that Taariq’s inaudible pain in his voice makes it impossible to hear his voice these days.”
– Mark DeCasper, author