Rapper Chinx murdered in Briarwood drive-by shooting

Photo via Instagram/@chinxmusic

Updated Monday, May 18, 9:55 a.m.

An up-and-coming rapper from Ozone Park was killed in a drive-by shooting at a Briarwood intersection early Sunday morning, police reported.

Officers from the 107th Precinct, in responding to a 911 call about the shooting, found two victims at the corner of Queens Boulevard and 84th Drive at about 4:04 a.m.

Authorities said 31-year-old Lionel Pickens was shot multiple times about his body. Pickens — a rapper better known by his stage name Chinx — was pronounced dead upon arrival at Jamaica Hospital.

The second victim, a 27-year-old man, was brought to Jamaica Hospital in critical condition after sustaining a gunshot wound to the back.

According to police, Pickens and the other victim were riding in a vehicle at the intersection when an unknown vehicle pulled up. An unidentified shooter in the other vehicle then pulled out a gun and opened fire at the victims before speeding away from the scene.

An investigation is ongoing.

Photo via Instagram/@we_r_legion
Photo via Instagram/@we_r_legion

Pickens grew up in Far Rockaway and was “paving his musical path since an early age,” according to the biography on his website. He got his start in hip-hop with the late rapper Stack Bundles as The Riot Squad.

In 2005, Pickens began a prison sentence after being convicted on robbery and drug possession charges. He was released in 2008, then relaunched his rap career with French Montana.

As Chinx, Pickens gained a following among hip-hop fans with his 2012 release of “I’m a Coke Boy.” He also created a mixtape trilogy, “Cocaine Riot,” featuring many top rap stars.

Reportedly, Pickens was slated to release his latest album, “Welcome to JFK,” later this year.

“Chinx was one of the most talented, professional and determined rappers this industry had to offer,” Chanel Rae, his publicist, said in a statement posted on The Legions Group Instagram account. “Furthermore, he was a friend.”

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.


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