An aspiring hip-hop artist from Moreno Valley was getting nightclub gigs and advancing his career. But he always took time to call his mother before every show and when he was on his way home, she recalled Wednesday as she sat with the police officials who have launched a renewed effort to solve his slaying.
Redlands Police Release Video of Persons of Interest in Slaying of Rapper
Investigators in Redlands are hoping surveillance tape showing 3 men possibly connected to the shooting death of aspiring rapper Kevon Henson last year will help them crack the unsolved case. Patrick Healy reports from Redlands for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, May 21, 2014. (Published Wednesday, May 21, 2014)
Wednesday, May 21, 2014 Updated at 9:24 PM PST
"It's been 16 months today that's he's been gone," said Tamara Decatur. "It' time."
Her son Kevon Henson, who performed under the name B. Dott Fresh, was shot to death in Redlands on Jan. 20, 2013, minutes after driving away from a nightclub where he did the final set before 2 a.m. closing.
Police and the family are now seeking the public's help in identifying three "persons of interest" seen confronting Henson after the nightclub closed and immediately before he drove off.
Another witness saw a white sedan with chrome rims leaving the scene of the shooting on Colton Avenue with "several" men inside, said Redlands Police Commander Shawn Ryan. He cautioned that detectives have not yet determined if they were the same men who earlier confronted Henson.
"That's why we want the public's information," Commander Ryan said.
Henson lived with his mother and a younger sister.
"Music was his passion," Decatur said.
"He did not have a mean bone in his body," said a family friend who identified himself simply as Dwight.
"Whoever did this had to be somebody who did not know him...I've never seen him in a confrontation ever," Dwight said. "He was a peacemaker."
The Cancun Bar and Grill at the west end of Redlands was a large nightclub with a capacity of close to 1,500, attracting patrons from a wide area of Southern California. Henson viewed his booking there as a career step forward, Dwight said.
The club closed shortly after Henson's death and remains shuttered.
Henson had once expressed concern about an "element" found at some clubs, recalled Dwight.
"He would say, 'I do my show and go,'" said Dwight, adding that Henson never mentioned any specific incident or individuals that worried him.
Wednesday, for the first time, police released security camera video of the three persons of interest as they entered the nightclub at about 10 p.m. There is no known video of the actual confrontation.
Police also released security camera video of a white sedan with chrome rims as it passed through a gas station earlier that night. A witness identified that car as the same one he saw leave the shooting scene, Ryan said.
"The three individuals, if it's not them and they know who, they should tell it," said Henson's mother.
Henson had built a recording studio at home, and though he had not signed with a label, had posted some of his recordings and videos online.
"His life was about making music," Dwight said. "He was pursuing it with everything he had. He should still be pursuing it now."
The family and police expressed hope anyone who has information will call lead Det. Dominick Povero at 909-798-7580.