QUEENS, N.Y. — Two men have been arrested in the 2015 drive-by shooting death of Lionel Pickens, a New York City rapper who performed under the name Chinx and was gunned down while he and a friend sat at a red light in Queens, police said Thursday.
Jamar Hill, 26, and Quincy Homere, 32, both of Long Island, face charges of second-degree murder, second-degree attempted murder, first-degree assault and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon in the May 17, 2015, shooting. If convicted, they each face up to 25 years to life in prison.
They are believed to have stalked their victims before shooting them, NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill said. Hill and Homere allegedly followed Pickens and his friend from a Brooklyn nightclub into Queens.
The 31-year-old rapper and a friend were sitting inside Pickens' Porsche and were stopped at a red light near Main Street and Queens Boulevard when the suspects' car pulled up, prosecutors said. A shooter in that second car opened fire, spraying bullets into Pickens' vehicle.
Pickens was shot multiple times in the torso and taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. His friend suffered gunshot wounds to his back but survived.
A native of Far Rockaway, Pickens was part of French Montana's Coke Boys group and was working on his debut studio album at the time of his death. That album -- Welcome to JFK -- was released in August of 2015. A second posthumous album, Legends Never Die, was released the following year.
The Queens district attorney called the shooting "another example of mindless gun violence plaguing our country."
"...a young, up-and-coming musician had his life and career dramtically cut short by a burst of senseless shooting... Such violence has no place in a civilized society," District Attorney Richard Brown said.