COMPTON — A father and his 17-year-old son have been charged with murder, robbery and conspiracy in the shooting death of rapper PnB Rock at a South Los Angeles restaurant this month, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced Thursday.
Freddie Lee Trone, 40, who is still being sought by authorities, and his 17-year-old son, who was arrested Tuesday in Lawndale, are charged with one count each of murder and conspiracy to commit robbery and two counts each of second-degree robbery involving the Sept. 12 killing of 30-year-old Rakim Allen at Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles at 106 W. Manchester Ave., where he was eating lunch with his girlfriend.
This image released by the Los Angeles Police Department shows Freddie Lee Trone. Los Angeles police on Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022, named Trone the suspect in the fatal shooting of rapper PnB Rock and warned he should be considered armed and dangerous. (Los Angeles Police Department via AP)
The teen, whose name has not been released because of his age, made his initial court appearance Thursday in a Compton juvenile courtroom, according to the District Attorney’s Office. He is due back in court Oct. 19 for a pretrial hearing.
A third defendant, Shauntel Trone, 38, was set to be arraigned Thursday on one count of being an accessory after the fact. ABC7 reported that she is the teen suspect’s stepmother.
Police said a male suspect walked up to the couple, drew a handgun, demanded PnB Rock’s jewelry, and shot him. The rapper died at a hospital.
“Freddie Lee Trone has been identified as being a person involved in the murder of Rakim Allen,” police said in a statement on Wednesday. “He should be considered armed and dangerous.”
TMZ and Fox11 reported that Freddie Trone is believed to have been the getaway driver following the shooting allegedly carried out by his teen son. TMZ reported that the pair later burned the vehicle used during the crime.
TMZ and Fox11 both reported that Trone and his son were already in the restaurant parking lot when PnB Rock arrived, contradicting earlier suggestions that social media posts by the rapper and his girlfriend showing his jewelry and tagging their location led to the robbery and shooting.
Witnesses said the suspect and the rapper argued during the heist, culminating in the shooting, which was captured on the restaurant’s video surveillance system.
The shooting and its apparent link with an Instagram post was reminiscent of the 2020 killing of rapper Pop Smoke in the Hollywood Hills. In that case, the rapper had made a series of social media posts revealing his location and valuables he had in his possession.
On Twitter, singer Nicki Minaj lamented PnB Rock’s killing, writing, “After Pop Smoke there’s no way we as rappers or our loved ones are still posting locations to our whereabouts. To show waffles & some fried chicken????! He was such a pleasure to work with. Condolences to his mom & family. This makes me feel so sick. Jesus.”
Anyone with information on Freddie Trone’s location was asked to call detectives Nellie Knight or Matthew Clark at 323-786-5146 or Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).
Sheriff: Fontana teen killed with father in shootout ‘was a participant in firing at our deputies’
Probation officer beaten to death in Lancaster, homeless suspect in custody
Amber Alert issued for daughter of woman slain in Fontana
Manhunt underway for suspect who shot, killed wife near Fontana elementary school
Clerk shot to death outside liquor store in San Bernardino
In a statement announcing the criminal case, District Attorney George Gascón said, “The murder of Mr. Allen dimmed a bright light in the lives of his fans, friends and most importantly his family. The accused individuals’ alleged actions in this case were heartless and cruel and robbed the world of Mr. Allen’s talents.”