Rappers step up the heat against gun violence after 6-year-old Los Angeles girl Tiana Ricks shot dead
Rapper-turned-reggae star Snoop Dogg is donating money for the funeral of a 6-year-old girl killed in a gang-style shooting, joining a fellow rap artist in supporting her family, he said Thursday.
The 41-year-old said the death of Tiana Ricks east of Los Angeles highlighted the need to step up campaigning against gun violence. He did not say how much he was donating.
Tiana and her 26-year-old father were shot last weekend outside their home in Moreno Valley, by two men who walked up to them and opened fire. Police chiefs have said the shooting could “possibly be gang related,” although Ricks was not believed to be involved in gang activity.
“Little six-year-old girls are not supposed to die from a gunshot. But it keeps happening,” Snoop Dogg — who last year changed his name to Snoop Lion — said in a statement cited by the LA Times.
“From the mass shootings in Aurora and Newtown, to gang violence in the streets and murders in our own backyards, too many tears are being shed,” he said, referring to the July 2012 movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado which killed 12, and the Connecticut school massacre which killed 26 including 20 young children last December.
“Too many young lives are being cut short. We need to come together to change this. Beautiful Tiana loved to play the piano – she had a whole life ahead of her which she should have been filled with love and music,” said the musician, who lives in Long Beach, California.
Another rapper, The Game — real name Jayceon Terrell Taylor — earlier this week announced he was donating $10,000 for the youngster’s funeral, saying her “very sad story hit me in a place nothing ever has.”
Gun violence is common in Los Angeles and the surrounding area, often linked to gangland activity.
Many rappers have been criticized over the years for glorifying gun culture, although some have spoken out against it, including Snoop Dogg, who this year announced an anti-violence campaign with the Twitter handle #NoGunsAllowed.