Las Vegas Rapper Trajik Turns Gunman - 8 News NOW

Ky Plaskon, Reporter

Las Vegas Rapper Trajik Turns Gunman

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Amir Crump, rapper nameTrajik Amir Crump, rapper nameTrajik

The violent shootout leaves many questions about the gunman -- Amir Rashid Crump -- and why he suddenly and violently turned on those around him. Crump was trying to get started in a career as a rapper. He had a criminal history and neighbors say police had been called to that house previously.

It is now known that Crump had two sides -- the friendly one his family and friends saw, and the dangerous one his neighbors and girlfriend knew. Crump spent most of his time jobless at home writing sometimes-violent rap lyrics. He wanted to be portrayed like rapper Tupac Shakur on his CD holding the assault rifle he later used to kill officer Prendes.

Neighbors say Amir Crump regularly beat his girlfriend. They called police three times in the past few months. Once Crump smashed a windshield while beating his girlfriend, they say. But a police report was never filed for domestic violence.

When police did show up Wednesday on the domestic violence call, video producer Jeff Hoyt says Crump snapped. "I think that what happened is that he got really scared and what he thought is that, I crossed a line and I don't know how to cross back. He probably just got really scared -- and now I am going to go to jail and I don't want to go to jail -- and something just clicked that we didn't even really know was there to click. You know, to break."

Hoyt said Crump regularly wore a bulletproof vest because he was afraid of gangsters from his old neighborhood. He also showed Hoyt the assault rifle used in the standoff. Others say it was just a fashion statement.

Will Hines produced music for Crump in a makeshift bathroom studio. He saw him just four days before the shoot out. Crump regularly told Hines he was afraid someone or something would catch up with him.

Merely a week before the shootout Crump told a friend a rumor was going around he had been shot. Crump's producers say another tragedy is unfolding now. In the rap world, when an artist is killed they are idolized. In fact, a website dedicated to the artist is already buzzing with fan mail. His friends say it's a shame he ruined his possible success.

Email reporter Ky Plaskon at kplaskon@klastv.com

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