AP NEWS

Brothers suspected of slaying Houston rapper in studio shootout

April 7, 2019

Two brothers are accused of gunning down a rapper in a recording studio in southeast Houston, according to court documents.

The siblings — Eran and Ethan Jenkins — were charged last week with capital murder in the March 25 death of Jon Whitfield, court records show. Houston police arrested Ethan Jenkins, 23, on April 3, while his younger brother, Eran, 19, remains on the lam.

A witness to the shooting handed the 42-year-old musician — who performed as O.G. Nitty — a gun before letting the brothers into the Hoodkat Music Group studio at 4119 Reed Road, according to charging documents, citing surveillance footage recorded inside the studio.

The two men walked into the studio around 10:15 p.m. and one of them aimed a gun at the witness, prompting Whitfield to brandish his weapon and fire the first shot, the footage shows. He missed.

Both of the suspects returned fire, investigators wrote. A spray of bullets pierced the walls to the neighboring smoke shop, according to court documents.

Whitfield was fatally struck in the exchange of fire. After the shooting, a suspect began ransacking the studio for “drugs and money,” while his sibling forced the witness into another room by gunpoint, court documents read. He demanded that the witness delete the file that captured the shootout and their unconcealed faces on video.

The brothers left the studio and were last seen driving their mother’s GMC Yukon, court records show.

The witness told police he encountered the brothers at the smoke shop minutes before the shooting. One of the suspects pulled out a weapon and “jokingly” told an employee to “give him everything,” the witness said.

The brothers were at the door of the recording studio within minutes of the supposed prank, he recounted.

The witness, the smoke shop employee and an FBI source identified the suspects as the Jenkins brothers, documents state.

In an interview last week, Whitfield’s daughter, Diamond, said she feared her father knew the suspects and that his death “was a setup,” she said.

The court documents do not indicate if Whitfield knew the assailants.

The brothers have no prior history of arrests in Harris County, court records show.

nicole.hensley@chron.com

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