EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. – The East St. Louis community is mourning the loss of a 25-year-old rapper murdered while filling his car at a local gas station. Fox 2 News spoke to the person who was by his side when he took his last breath.
“He rapped but the majority of his life was about helping and uplifting, encouraging and motivating,” said Lance Burrell.
Friends and family of Cedric Gooden—who went by the stage name “Cold Kase”—say he was a fixture in the East St Louis community and had a promising career ahead of him. The news of his murder came as a shock.
“When I heard who it was, I was sick; he’s a good kid. I feel for his family, I really do,” said Shelia Young.
Investigators said the deadly shooting unfolded at the Mobil Gas Mart on State Street in East St Louis around 10 p.m. Monday. The gunman reportedly fired several shots at the parking lot was full of customers.
Burrell said was pumping gas when the gunman opened fire.
“He first shot about 9 times and then he reloaded,” he said.
Burrell said when the gunman fled he ran to try and comfort his close friend and prayed with him, hoping he would pull through.
“I walked up to him and I saw him; it was Cold Kase,” he said. “I started praying for him.”
Lyrics in Gooden’s videos focused on ending gun violence and encouraging listeners to choose love over hate, which in this case, his father said, would ironically cost him his life.
“He tried to make sure you knew he was a good boy and he was doing his music. A lot of people hated on him as a rapper and he was shot and they took him out and I hate that,” said Felix Gooden, Cedric’s father.
East St. Louis resident Melvon Chico said: “It's sad to see the same hood he out on, someone from the hood took his life.”
Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to contact the East St. Louis Police Department or CrimeStoppers.