A SWAT team raided the Beverly Hills office of rap label Tha Row (formerly Death Row) early Thursday morning to serve one of 17 murder-related warrants, the Associated Press reports. One person was arrested at the scene and several others were arrested in simultaneous raids elsewhere, Los Angeles police said.
However, Suge Knight, the label’s controversial founder, was not considered a suspect, Sheriff’s department spokesperson Alba Yates said. ”They’re seeking additional evidence in several homicides and a conspiracy to commit murder investigation,” Sheriff’s spokesperson Joe Efflandt told Reuters. Police would not identify the victims, so it was not clear if the raids had anything to do with the long-unsolved killings of rappers Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G., or the murder last month of Run-DMC’s Jam Master Jay.
”We’re not sure who the target is or what they’re looking for,” Knight’s lawyer, Arthur Barens, told AP, noting that the locations searched included the rap mogul’s present and past homes throughout Los Angeles and Las Vegas. He said he found the raids ”heavy-handed,” but that Knight would cooperate with investigators.
Knight was released from prison in 2001 after serving five years for violating his probation by fighting in a hotel brawl in Vegas in 1996, hours before Shakur was shot while riding in Knight’s car. Biggie, Shakur’s rival, was shot in his own car in Los Angeles six months later. No one has ever been arrested for either killing, and Knight has denied involvement in both murders.
There are also no suspects in the slaying of Jay, shot by a masked assailant in his New York recording studio two weeks ago.