Four shots struck a police van Tuesday near where teenage rapper J-Kwon was filming a music video in his hometown, authorities said. No injuries were reported.
Investigators hope the videotape helps identify suspects in the gunfire shortly after 4 p.m. while the video was being filmed at a liquor store and vacant lot, where hundreds of fans had gathered and caused traffic tie-ups.
Police Chief Joe Mokwa said he did not believe the shots fired from a passing vehicle targeted any of the officers who had responded to control the crowd.
The apparently unoccupied van may have been hit by “some erratic rounds,” the chief said.
The crowd scattered after the shots rang out.
J-Kwon, born Jerrell Jones, told reporters the gunshots were not part of the video or fired by anyone with his crew. A representative of the rapper said they would cooperate with the investigation.
J-Kwon’s debut album “Hood Hop” is sixth on Billboard’s R&B/Hip Hop charts. The album is 13th among Billboard’s Top 200, having risen as high as seventh on the runaway strength of its party song “Tipsy.”
Put out on the streets by his mother when he was 13 because he wanted to rhyme instead of go to school, the rapper — now 18 — spent some time living on the streets and selling drugs while trying to pursue his dream of being a rapper.
During his mid-teens, he was befriended by a promoter in St. Louis who led him to the hot producers The Track Boyz. They immediately decided to produce his debut, later optioned by Jermaine Dupri’s So So Def label.