Lil Wayne and Mack Maine are currently mourning the loss of one of their childhood friends from the Hollygrove section of New Orleans. Keith “Magik” Atkinson was killed Sunday (February 16) morning by a police officer, sparking the YMCMB compatriots and Atkinson's family to question the motives behind the shooting.
A report from the Times-Picayne offers more details of the shooting incident, which occurred just a day after Atkinson, 31, was seen partying with Lil Wayne and Mack Maine over the weekend. After excitedly telling his mother about the night with the Young Money rappers, Atkinson traveled to a local convenience store the next morning to pick up cigarettes. The Times-Picayne has more.
From the Times-Picayne/NOLA.com:
Police arrived at the store around 9:20 a.m., responding to a call of a man in a blue shirt stealing a case of juice, according to witnesses who were in the store at the time. Atkinson, who was wearing a blue shirt, was standing near the store as the officers pulled up, witnesses said.
But Atkinson wasn't the shoplifter, several people said in interviews with NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune, making his shooting death all the more grievous. It was another man who showed up at the store, took a case of Little Hug fruit juice and yelled at the cashier who had scolded a child for spilling the juice drink in the store, said Royleisha Wesley, 21, who was at the store with her boyfriend Zaairvert Williams, 20.
Atkinson had a criminal past and was shot before, which made him walk with a limp according to reports. Atkinson's father, Keith Joseph, spoke briefly about his son's killing and pondered why it happened.
"I'm not saying he was an altar boy, but he wasn't a straight-out killer – he wasn't a criminal," Joseph said. "He didn't deserve what he got. He held up through almost 40 surgeries, to lose his life at the hands of a police officer. I don't think it's justice. It's not right."
Lil Wayne and Mack Maine took to Twitter and Instagram to express their grief in losing Atkinson, with the pair both speaking on the curious nature of the killing.
Officials are still not certain why NOPD Officer Jonathan Hirdes opened fired on Atkinson, striking him four times. A .45 caliber gun, which was reportedly stolen, was found next to Atkinson's body in the aftermath.
Hit the jump to see Lil Wayne's and Mack Maine's tweets for their friend Keith “Magik” Atkinson. Watch a video report from WDSU below.
Photos: Twitter, Instagram