Los Angles police detectives are reviewing video and security footage from the Dec. 18 Once Upon a Time in L.A. festival in an effort to identify the person who fatally stabbed Drakeo the Ruler backstage as the late rapper’s mother vows to sue over her son’s killing.
According to the Los Angeles Times, an unnamed person with direct knowledge of the incident told the paper that Drakeo (born Darrell Caldwell) was attacked by a group of people, with several videos emerging after the incident; it was unclear at press time if any of the clips captured the stabbing. While authorities have not released many details about their investigation, sources told the Times that there were many people backstage when the attack took place.
Drakeo, 28, was slated to perform at the show alongside Ice Cube, 50 Cent, YG, The Game and Al Green before he was “severely injured by a suspect with an edged weapon” during a fight backstage, California Highway Patrol investigators reportedly said.
Meanwhile, Caldwell’s mother, Darrylene Corniel, provided Rolling Stone with some details about the attack while vowing to avenge her son’s death. “He was hit in his neck. I saw him when I went to the hospital,” she told the magazine while pointing to the spot on her son’s neck where someone allegedly struck him with a blade. “They said it’s a homicide, so I wasn’t able to hug him or kiss him or anything like that. I had to look at him through a window.”
Corniel vowed that she will not rest until the case is solved. “I need this to be out there. I need people to know. And I do want justice for my son,” she said. “And I do believe that justice will be served. I will not rest until justice is served.” She said her son — and his younger brother, Devonte Caldwell, a rapper known as Ralfy the Plug — were backstage with a small group of friends when, according to a witness, a “large influx” of people arrived at the same time as rapper YG.
“They said there were, like, 40 to 60 people,” Corniel told the magazine about the crowd of people that “swamped” her sons and their small entourage. “Everything just happened so quickly. They started trying to jump them.” While the younger Caldwell tried to protect his big brother, Corniel said he could see Drakeo with “blood gushing out of him” as he tried to figure out who stabbed his sibling.
Corniel told RS that she believes pride played a role in the tragic incident, but is still waiting for a formal interview with investigators to get more information. “It is such a shame how much jealousy and envy can make people stoop to such low tactics to try to destroy another individual because of fame and progress,” she said, suggesting that resentment about Drakeo’s rising fame may have played a role in his death.
“We plan to sue,” she said, suggesting that venue security at the Live Nation-promoted gig at Banc of California Stadium at L.A. Exposition Park failed to do their job. “This happened backstage at an event. Someone has to be held accountable.”
In a statement after the stabbing, Live Nation said the fatal incident happened “in a roadway backstage” resulting in the festival ending an hour early. In a statement to the magazine on Monday (Dec. 20), Live Nation said they are doing “everything we can” to assist authorities in the investigation.