An apparent homicide victim in Sandy Springs was a rising rap star, according to Reporter Newspapers partner CBS Atlanta.

CBS reported the man’s name is Melvin Vernell III and says he performed under the stage name “Lil Phat.”

According to CBS, Vernell was 19, not in his 40s as previously indicated in a press release from the Sandy Springs police department.

Sandy Springs police say they are investigating the June 7 homicide in the 1001 block of Johnson Ferry Road next to Northside Hospital.

According to a statement from the police department, police found Vernell in a car parked  on the second level of a parking deck off of Hollis Cobb Drive, adjacent to the Northside Hospital Women’s Center. The police statement says the incident happened around 6:40 p.m. Vernell was transferred to Northside Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Police say he was shot multiple times.

“Witnesses indicated they saw at least one suspect running from the location towards Johnson Ferry Road,” the police statement says. “At this time there is no connection to the shooting and the Northside Hospital or Women’s Center.”

To see the full CBS Atlanta story, click here.

Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt wrote for Reporter Newspapers from 2011 - 2014. He is the founder and editor of