SANDY SPRINGS, GA (CBS ATLANTA) –
Sandy Springs police have confirmed that the victim in the fatal shooting outside Northside Hospital Thursday evening was a rising rap star.
Melvin Vernell III, 19, performed under the stage name ‘Lil Phat.’
Fellow rapper ‘Webbie,’ who recently collaborated with Lil Phat sent a Twitter message to more than 217,000 people who follow him on the social networking site that reads, “#RIPLILPHAT.”
Another fellow rapper, ‘Lil Trill,’ sent a Twitter message to his followers that reads in part, “My Brother Gone #RipPhat.”
The shooting caused Northside Hospital to go on lockdown Thursday evening after the
shooting in the parking deck near the women’s center.
“In a case like this where there’s a potential shooting on the campus we lock down all the hospital facilities, no one is allowed to leave or enter the building,” said Russ Davis, spokesman for Northside.
Sandy Springs police said they were called shortly after 6:30 p.m. They said Vernell, of Sandy Springs, was shot multiple times in his car on the second floor of the parking deck outside the Labor and Delivery wing of the hospital.
Officers said witnesses told them at least two people ran from the scene. Vernell was rushed into Northside Hospital where police said he later died.
The hospital said it went off lockdown around 8:30 p.m.
“Everybody needs to feel comfortable that they’re safe. The area has been secured. It has been searched completely and thoroughly,” Davis said.
Officers said they had no information that the victim or shooter was connected to the hospital.