Police in Georgia announced on Monday that Silentó had been arrested for allegedly shooting and killing his 34-year-old cousin Frederick Rooks in January.
The rapper, whose real name is Ricky Hawk, has had years of legal troubles since rocketing to the top of the charts with his hit “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae).”
“Today, Ricky Hawk, 23, was arrested for the murder of his cousin Frederick Rooks, 34. On Jan. 21, the DeKalb County Police Department investigated Rooks’ death after he was found shot on Deep Shoals Circle. Hawk is in the DeKalb County Jail charged with murder,” the DeKalb Police Department said in a statement on Twitter.
Today, Ricky Hawk, 23, was arrested for the murder of his cousin Frederick Rooks, 34. On January 21, the DeKalb County Police Department investigated Rooks’ death after he was found shot on Deep Shoals Circle. Hawk is in the DeKalb County Jail charged with Murder. #WeAreDKPD
— DeKalb County Police Department (@DeKalbCountyPD) February 1, 2021
Rooks was at a home in Panthersville, Georgia, when he was shot multiple times, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Michaela Vincent, a police spokeswoman, said they still do not have a motive for the shooting but said they had video footage from houses in the area that provided some evidence.
Rooks’ body was found in the middle of a street on Jan. 21 with gun shot wounds to the face and leg, with about eight casings found on the street near him. Hawk is being held without bond in DeKalb jail after being detained on Monday.
“However, after a thorough investigation, DKPD detectives identified Hawk as Rooks’ cousin, and the person responsible for Rooks’ murder. Investigators are still working to uncover the motive for the shooting,” Vincent said.
In the past, Hawk has spoken about his struggles with mental health and his publicist Chanel Hudson said he was still battling with depression and other issues.
“Over the past several years, Ricky has been suffering immensely from a series of mental health issues. We will continue in his efforts of treatment, but we ask in the meantime the public uplift hm and his family in immediate prayer and positive energy!!” Hudson wrote on Instagram.
“Ricky is a beautiful soul and we hope that the same people who came up whippin’ & nay naying with him continue to support him and lifted in prayer,” she added.
On an episode of The Doctors, Hawk told the hosts about his troubled upbringing and struggles with substance abuse, the AJC reports.
“I’ve been fighting demons my whole life. My whole life. I was born with weed, coke, heroin, pills, all type of drugs in my system. I saw family members talking to walls. I watched family members fight. I watched family members try to kill each other. Nobody should have to watch that,” Hawk said, according to the AJC.
The 23-year-old released “Watch Me” in 2015 and the song now has nearly 2 billion views on YouTube.
Los Angeles police arrested him in August after he was found in the wrong house carrying a hatchet, while he looked for his girlfriend, according to TMZ. He was eventually charged with two felonies after the incident. The day before, he was arrested by police after someone reported a domestic disturbance, ABC7 reported.
In October, he was nabbed by police while driving 145 miles per hour, alleging that he was being chased, according to local news outlet WSB-TV.
“He stated, ‘If there is like 10 cars following me, I can do 143 because I am not a regular person and you could go and look on your computer and it would tell you that,’” the officer wrote in a police report.