ATLANTA – Rapper Ludacris’ manager is facing a murder charge in connection with a June shooting.
The Atlanta Police Department said Chaka Zulu, whose legal name is Ahmed Obafemi, turned himself in to face charges Tuesday. Fulton Country jail records show he was released on bail the same day. Police said they also secured warrants charging him with aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and simple battery.
Gabe Banks of Banks Weaver LLC, a lawyer for the longtime music executive, shared a statement with The Associated Press expressing disappointment in the decision to bring charges. Banks said evidence clearly shows Zulu, who was wounded in the incident, defended himself while being attacked.
Zulu was among three people shot in the June 26 gunfire at a parking lot outside of the restaurant APT 4B in the Buckhead area. One person died.
Banks’ statement, shared on Zulu’s verified Instagram page, said Zulu was assaulted by four individuals “who repeatedly stomped, punched, and kicked him while he was on the ground.”
“In an attempt to save his life, Mr. Zulu lawfully discharged his weapon in self-defense, a weapon that he was licensed to carry,” the statement said. “Mr. Zulu fully cooperated with law enforcement officials and their investigation, and voluntarily turned himself in once he learned of the arrest warrants.”
The statement added: “It is not lost on Mr. Zulu that someone lost his life, but had Mr. Zulu not lawfully defended himself, Mr. Zulu would have been killed that night.”
USA TODAY has reached out to Ludacris and his record label for comment.
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Artez Benton, 23, was killed in the shooting. His family described him as ambitious, hard-working and dedicated to his family.
“He did everything right,” his father, Artis Benton, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution after the shooting. ” I never thought that this would be the end for him.”
Zulu joined Spotify as head of artist and talent relations in 2019. He co-founded Disturbing Tha Peace Records with Ludacris in 1998.
In January, Zulu was recognized by the Atlanta Hawks for his community service.
Ludacris (real name: Chris Bridges) currently stars with Queen Latifah in Netflix’s new movie “End of the Road.”
Contributing: Kim Willis, USA TODAY, and The Associated Press