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Father and Son Murdered Rapper PnB Rock as He Ate in Los Angeles Restaurant with Girlfriend: DA

Hip-hop artist PnB Rock speaks into a microphone, next to a mug shot of his alleged murderer, Freddie Lee Trone

Hip-hop artist Rakim “PnB Rock” Allen and his alleged murderer, Freddie Lee Tone. (Amy Sussman/Getty Images for BET and Los Angeles Police Department)

A father and son have been charged with the murder of a rapper and hip-hop artist who was fatally shot as he ate lunch in a Los Angeles restaurant with his girlfriend. Rakim “PnB Rock” Allen, 30, was at Roscoe’s House of Chicken & Waffles in south Los Angeles when a gunman targeted him on Sept. 12.

Police believe Allen was targeted for his jewelry. A federal task force arrested Freddie Lee Trone in Las Vegas on Thursday after a manhunt that included a public plea for assistance.

“The suspect shot Allen and removed some of his property,” according to a Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office press release. “The suspect also demanded property from Allen’s girlfriend. The suspect fled the location in an awaiting vehicle.”

Trone’s 17-year-old son was picked up in the Los Angeles County suburb of Lawndale on Tuesday. Another apparent relative, Shauntel Monique Trone, 38, was arrested in Gardena and remains jailed on a charge of accessory of after the fact. Police believe the boy was the triggerman and his father the getaway driver, according to NBC’s Los Angeles affiliate.

Both have been charged with murder and conspiracy to commit robbery, as well as two counts of second-degree robbery. The boy was to appear in Los Angeles County’s juvenile court in Compton Thursday, with a pretrial hearing scheduled Oct. 19. Shauntel Trone also was to be in court Thursday, with her arraignment scheduled in the Compton branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court. Police identified her as 32 years old, but jail records list her age as 38.

District Attorney George Gascón said Allen’s murder “dimmed a bright light in the lives of his fans, friends and most importantly his family.”

“The accused individuals’ alleged actions in this case were heartless and cruel and robbed the world of Mr. Allen’s talents,” Gascón said in the release.

Roscoe’s House of Chicken & Waffles, based in Los Angeles with eight locations, mourned PnB Rock in a message posted to social media that called him “an incredible artist in Los Angeles and everywhere.”

“His passing represents an enormous loss to each and every one of us,” the Sept. 12 message said. “Our most heartfelt condolences, thoughts and prayers go to the Allen family at this difficult time. The safety of our employees and guests are our utmost priority. We have and will continue to keep our place of business as safe as possible.”

Founded in 1975 by Harlem native Herb Hudson, Roscoe’s website says it developed a celebrity following burgeoned by Hudson’s “friends in Motown and television, such as Stevie Wonder and Natalie Cole.”

“Other celebrities, like Snoop Dogg, Shaquille O’Neil, and even global leaders including President Obama have enjoyed Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles making it a timeless L.A classic,” according to the website.

Born in Philadelphia, Allen released two albums in 2017 and 2019 after his single “Selfish” hit 51 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 2016. He’s collaborated with artists such as Ed Sheeran and Chance the Rapper and had released an independent single called 12 days before his murder. He has two children.

Detectives suspected the attack may have been prompted by Allen’s girlfriend posting a photo from inside the restaurant to Instagram that marked the location. But the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday detectives now believe Drone and his son were outside the restaurant before the post. The elder Trone has a criminal history that includes a conviction for felon in possession of a firearm, for which he’s on active probation.

Some of Allen’s friends in the music world had addressed the social media location rumor, including Cardi B, who said in a tweet the day PnB Rock died that she doubted his killer was looking at his girlfriend’s Instagram.

“He was in a bad location and people stay outside plotting. It’s very irresponsible and inconsiderate to blame her for something so tragic. We should be sending nothing but love to her and his family at this time,” Cardi wrote.

(Images: Amy Sussman/Getty Images for BET and Los Angeles Police Department)

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A graduate of the University of Oregon, Meghann worked at The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington, and the Idaho Statesman in Boise, Idaho, before moving to California in 2013 to work at the Orange County Register. She spent four years as a litigation reporter for the Los Angeles Daily Journal and one year as a California-based editor and reporter for and associated publications such as The National Law Journal and New York Law Journal before joining Law & Crime News. Meghann has written for The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Los Angeles Magazine, Bloomberg Law, ABA Journal, The Forward, Los Angeles Business Journal and the Laguna Beach Independent. Her Twitter coverage of federal court hearings in a lawsuit over homelessness in Los Angeles placed 1st in the Los Angeles Press Club's Southern California Journalism Awards for Best Use of Social Media by an Independent Journalist in 2021. An article she freelanced for Los Angeles Times Community News about a debate among federal judges regarding the safety of jury trials during COVID also placed 1st in the Orange County Press Club Awards for Best Pandemic News Story in 2021.