By Calvin Palmer
The fatal shooting of rap artist Dolla may have stemmed from an altercation with his suspected killer at an Atlanta strip club frequented by the hip-hop community, according to a Los Angeles police source.
Roderick Anthony Burton II, known as Dolla, was killed during a confrontation between two groups in the valet parking area of the Beverly Center in West Hollywood, on Monday afternoon.
Yesterday, police arrested Aubrey Louis Berry, 23, of Snellville, Georgia, in the Terminal One waiting area at Los Angeles International Airport. He is being held on $1 million bail.
An employee of Platinum 21 Adult Entertainment told the Los Angeles Times that Dolla was involved in a fight at the club on May 13 with a man known as “A.B.”
The brawl started inside the club and spilled out into the parking lot. Participants threatened each other and shouted out gang slogans.
Dolla, 21, flew from Atlanta to Los Angeles to put the finishing touches on his first album, Another Day, Another Dolla. On the way to producer Julian Bunetta’s studio, he stopped at the Beverly Center to shop.
Police and witnesses say two groups started arguing before Berry allegedly pulled out a gun and shot Burton several times as he stood near rapper D.J. Shabbazz.
Burton was pronounced dead a short time later at nearby Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
“Right now, we don’t know what the motive was for the person who shot Roderick ‘Dolla’ Burton,” said Bunetta’s spokeswoman, Laura Wright. “This is a tragedy.”
Little is known about Berry. He is an events promoter, but it was unclear whether he dealt with rap acts or worked with Burton.
Police say Berry fled the scene in a rented Mercedes. But officers quickly got the license plate from eyewitnesses and were able to put out a regional alert. Authorities tracked Berry to the waiting area at Terminal 1 at LAX, said airport police Sgt. Bill Holcomb.
When confronted by police, Berry “got up with his hands in the air and said, ‘I have a gun in my waistband, don’t shoot me,’ ” Holcomb said.
Police found a loaded 9mm semiautomatic handgun on Berry.
Burton’s stepfather, George Viera, said: “They [Dolla, D. J. Shabbazz and cousin Will Robinson] had just come out of P.F. Chang’s. They heard gunfire and started running.”
Burton was shot in the back, his stepfather said: “The bullet pierced his heart.”
The funeral will be held in Atlanta and is scheduled for Saturday.