Who is Silento and why was he arrested?

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THE rapper Silento was previously charged with murder and has now been indicted in the shooting death of his 34-year-old cousin, authorities said.

Silento, whose legal name is Ricky Hawk, is most known for his hit single Watch Me (Whip/ Nae Nae).

Silento is known for the single Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)

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Silento is known for the single Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)

Who is Silento?

Born Richard Lamar Hawk, the 23-year-old singer now uses the stage name Silento.

The young rapper rose to fame at the age of 16 after the music video for his hit single Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae) clocked up more than 1.7 billion views on YouTube in 2015.

The song inspired a dance craze at the time, along with countless social media videos of fans performing the moves.

Watch Me peaked at No3 in the Hot 100 – and remained in the charts for 51 weeks.

He describes himself on his Instagram page as an artist, songwriter, ex-producer, actor, and mentor.

Silentó was arrested and charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon

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Silentó was arrested and charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weaponCredit: Getty Images – Getty

Why was the rapper arrested?

On February 1, 2021, Ricky Hawk, 23, was arrested for the murder of his cousin Frederick Rooks, 34.

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Rooks was found with several gunshot wounds in Panthersville, Georgia, which is about 10 miles southeast of downtown Atlanta, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Surveillance video captured at least one gunshot and several vehicles driving away from the site, an incident report stated. 

Cops found eight bullet casings at the scene.

The fatal shooting of Frederick Rooks occurred on January 21, 2021, in an Atlanta suburb
The fatal shooting of Frederick Rooks occurred on January 21, 2021, in an Atlanta suburb

What have police said?

The police tweeted on February 1: “Hawk is in the DeKalb County Jail charged with murder.”

The force said that, “on January 21, the DeKalb County Police Department investigated Rooks’ death after he was found shot on Deep Shoals Circle”.

Its statement didn’t elaborate on the circumstances of the death or Hawk’s arrest.

However, a police spokesman told Variety that cops were called to investigate a shooting on January 21, 2021, at about 3.30am, after Rooks was found on the road, suffering multiple gunshot wounds.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The spokesman said: “After a thorough investigation, DKPD detectives identified Hawk as Rooks’ cousin, and the person [allegedly] responsible for Rooks’ murder.

“Investigators are still working to uncover the motive for the shooting.”

What was Silento indicted for?

In August 2021, a Georgia grand jury indicted Hawk in the shooting death of his cousin, TMZ reported.

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He got four felony charges, including one count of malice murder and one count of felony murder, the outlet revealed.

The rapper was also charged with aggravated assault and possession of a gun during the commission of a felony.

Silento arriving at the BET Awards on June 26, 2016, in Los Angeles

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Silento arriving at the BET Awards on June 26, 2016, in Los AngelesCredit: AP:Associated Press

The murder investigation came months after Silento was arrested in Orange County on August 28, 2020, when police received a call alleging a domestic disturbance.

He was taken into custody and then later released on a charge of inflicting corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant.

The following day on August 29 in Los Angeles, Silentó allegedly broke into a home in the San Fernando Valley wielding a machete, ABC7 reported.

According to the LAPD, he entered the strangers’ residence while searching for his girlfriend.

When police arrived, they found the rapper not far from the home.

In September 2020 he was subsequently arrested and charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon.

Rapper Silento discusses battle with depression and PTSD on The Doctors



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