SANDY SPRINGS, GA (CBS ATLANTA) –
According to several rap music-affiliated web sites, the man fatally shot outside Northside Hospital was a rising rap star.
Sandy Springs Police have identified the victim as Melvin Vernell III, 19. That's the same name as an Atlanta rapper or the same age who goes by the 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.” an earlier Twitter message from Webbie said, “RIP TO MY LIL BROTHER PHAT!”
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 are 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.
The shooter remains on the loose.
Check back with www.cbsatlanta.com for updates.
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