UPDATED 12:45 p.m. May 17, 2016
One year later, the suspects responsible for the drive-by shooting in Briarwood last year that took the life of an up-and-coming rap star remain at large.
Police repeated an appeal for tips on Tuesday, which marked the one-year anniversary of the May 17, 2015, murder of Lionel Pickens, 31, of Ozone Park, who went by the stage name Chinx.
A $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the murder remains available, the NYPD indicated in a press release on Tuesday.
Pickens and a 27-year-old male passenger were in a 2014 Porsche stopped at a red light at the corner of Queens Boulevard and 84th Drive at about 4:04 a.m. on May 17, 2015, when an unknown vehicle pulled up. Reportedly, an unidentified individual inside that vehicle then fired multiple shots at the Porsche before speeding away from the scene.
Officers from the 107th Precinct and EMS units found Pickens behind the wheel with multiple gunshot wounds about the body. Pickens was rushed to Jamaica Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The male passenger sustained a gunshot wound to his back but survived.
A native of Far Rockaway, Pickens began his hip-hop career with the late rapper Stack Bundles as The Riot Squad. Pickens was jailed between 2005 and 2008 after being convicted on robbery and drug possession charges.
Following his release, Pickens returned to rap alongside French Montana and gained a following among hip-hop fans with his 2012 release of “I’m a Coke Boy.” His final album, “Welcome to JFK,” was posthumously released last August.
Anyone with information regarding the murder that could prove helpful is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477), visit their website or text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls and messages are kept confidential.