Lor Scoota in a video for his popular song, ‘Bird Flu.’ (YouTube)
One of Baltimore’s hottest up and coming local artists, Lor Scoota, was gunned down on June 25 following a charity basketball game, according to police.
Born Tyriece Travon Watson, Scoota quickly rose to fame with his single “Bird Flu” repeatedly getting airtime on local radio stations and collaborating with international rap artists such as Meek Mill and The Game. Watson was 23 years old.
On June 25th, at approximately 6:56 p.m., Baltimore police officers went to Harford Road at Moravia Road after being alerted to a shooting. Upon arrival, they found Watson inside a vehicle that had crashed into a corner liquor store. He was transported to an area hospital and later died from his injuries.
Watson, of the 1900 block of Clifton Avenue, suffered from at least one gunshot wound. Word quickly spread between different social media platforms, making Watson a trending topic on Twitter; even a video of the crime scene that shows Watson being pulled out of the car by emergency personnel was posted to social media site Instagram but police didn’t announce Watson’s death until 8:30 p.m.
“There are many that are going to scrutinize the lyrics in his songs and some of the activity he might’ve been involved with in the past, but the reality is he’s a victim, and there’s a murderer on the street,” said Baltimore City Police Spokesperson T.J. Smith. “A lot of young people knew him and looked up to him, and whatever he might’ve been doing in the past, it appears he was doing some things to change his life and use those experiences to help empower other young people in our city of Baltimore.” Smith called a news conference Sunday afternoon to ask for tips in the case.
Police say it was a targeted killing — a cold blooded murder in the middle of a busy Baltimore intersection. Several shots were fired into the rap artist’s car.
“The unknown suspect stepped into the street and opened fire on the victim,” said Smith.
The suspect remains unknown and at large, although police say there is video surveillance footage — but what that video shows is not being released at this time.
Smith also stated that since Watson was coming from the Touch the People Pray for Peace in These Streets charity basketball game at Morgan State University, his death had an “eerie irony that should absolutely tick us all off.” Watson is among the latest homicide victims in what Smith called a “revolving door of death” in Baltimore that he said is “leaving too many mothers to bury their children.”
“It’s good that #LorScoota, #Scoota, #PrayforScoota, #BirdFlu and all that is trending on Twitter, Smith said. “But can we trend on Twitter that the person responsible for his death has been identified and is in custody?”
People from all over Baltimore are mourning and remembering Watson on social media. Fellow rapper and local producer Logik LCE told the AFRO via Facebook, “This really hurt the city and our youth. Another tragedy.”
Baltimore native Asia Eddins told the AFRO, “I loved his music. I was waiting for his next CD to drop. That boy was talented and was loved by so many.”
The citizens of Baltimore aren’t the only ones mourning the loss of Watson through social media. Many celebrities and athletes have offered their condolences and reflected on what type of person he was. Rapper Meek Mill posted a photo of Watson to his Instagram with the touching message, “…Tryna make it out. #restup.” California rapper “The Game” also posted a photo of him and Watson together in the studio with the words, “Another young one murdered, Just last year the lil homie @Scootaupnext was over my shoulder in the huddle working on #TheDocumentary2 every day in Los Angeles…..Then this news hits me SMH. LIFE…..hold onto it, or you’ll lose it & everything in it in the blink of an eye. #RipLorScoota.”
Former Baltimore Raven Torrey Smith tweeted “One that was focused in stopping the violence smh crazy world man…prayers up.”
Baltimore City Councilman Nick Mosby told reporters, “I am saddened to hear about the senseless murder of Tyrice “Lor Scoota” Watson. He had a heart for youth and took the time out of his schedule to join me on my #EyeAmBaltimore Tour to high schools in West Baltimore following last year’s uprising where he spoke about the importance of staying in school.”
The family of Watson was not available for comment.
Anyone with information may call the homicide unit at 410-396-2100 or Metro Crime Stoppers to report tips anonymously at 1-866-7LOCKUP.