Oakland Rapper Kafani Says He Wasn't at Scene Where 1-Year-Old Boy Was Shot

Categories: Tragedy

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Kafani, Da Ice King
​Awful news out of Oakland last night: Eight people, including a 1-year-old boy, were assailed with more than 50 bullets outside of a liquor store in a shooting nobody can quite explain yet.

Initial reports suggested that the crowd was shooting a music video on Willow Street with the Oakland rapper Kafani. But Kafani denied this, writing on his Twitter feed, "News reports wrong I did not shoot a video today." He says that while there was a promo van present at the scene with his picture on it -- and that the group was apparently working on a clip for him -- the rapper wasn't personally there.

The one-year-old who was shot, Hiram Lawrence, underwent overnight surgery at Highland Hospital to relieve swelling on his brain, according to news reports. The others injured are in stable condition.


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Bay Area Rapper Killa Keise Was Found Shot to Death by the Side of Interstate 80 Last Night

Categories: News, Tragedy

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R.I.P., Killa Keise
​Vallejo police are saying today that a 28-year-old man found shot to death in a car on Interstate 80 last night is S.F. rapper Markeise "Killa Keise" Henry.

According to this Vallejo Times Herald story, Keise's body was found at about 11 p.m. last night inside a Pontiac that had veered off the highway and into some bushes:

Inside the crashed vehicle, responders found Henry, who had received a number of gunshot wounds to his upper body, and was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

No suspects had been arrested in the case as of Friday afternoon, police said. Mustard said police were not yet ready to reveal further details, including whether Henry was a victim of a random shooting or targeted.



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GWAR Cancels Friday, Nov. 11, Show at Regency Ballroom

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GWAR

Looks like there'll be no onstage dismemberment for you, Bay Area metalheads: Not even a week after GWAR's guitarist, Cory Smoot, died suddenly in his tour bus bunk, the venerable costumed metal band everyone knows canceled the San Francisco show scheduled for this Friday at Regency Ballroom.

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Aerial Dancer Agent Red Says NYE Fall May Leave Her Unable to Perform Again

Categories: Tragedy
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Agent Red in the hospital

After breaking both her arms and fracturing her skull in a fall at a New Year's Eve rave, professional aerialist Sarah Johnston, aka Agent Red, says she may never perform again.

Johnston was just getting into her routine at around midnight at the Sea of Dreams party when she slipped off her apparatus and fell about 12 feet onto a concrete floor at the S.F. Concourse Exhibition Center. The fall left her with multiple fractures in both arms. Because of the extensive damage to her right arm -- she broke both main arm bones, her ring finger, and parts of her wrist -- doctors tell Johnston she will have a very difficult time doing aerial dance even after she recovers.

"Aerial is something that I would have to work very, very hard to do again," Johnston says. "If my recovery does extremely well, I will perform, but it's not looking totally likely."


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Killer Mike Is Still "Burn"-ing Over the Oscar Grant Shooting

Categories: Hip-Hop, Tragedy
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The Oscar Grant saga was an awful event in Bay Area history -- and, uh, we'll leave it at that. But more than two years after the tragedy, Outkast affiliate and overall Dirty South badass Killer Mike still has much more to say on the matter. Over four minutes worth, in fact.

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After Van Crash, Adam Haworth Stephens Needs Your Help

Categories: Tragedy
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Adam Haworth Stephens' tour van, after the Wyoming crash.
We told you last week about the horrible, horrible tour van crash in a Wyoming snowstorm that dislocated S.F. troubadour Adam Haworth Stephens' shoulder, and broke some of bandmate Omar Cuellar's vetebrae, along with his hand.

Well, there's good news and bad news. Good stuff first: The boys got home to S.F. last week. Omar has had successful surgery on his hand, according to a blog about the accident. His vertebrae will heal after six or so weeks in a neck brace, the doctors say.

I ran into Adam, who is best known as the frontman of Two Gallants, near Cafe Du Nord last night, and his arm was in a sling. But he was out walking around -- his first night out since the accident, he said -- and he seemed in reasonably good spirits.

Our conversation turned to his recovery. And that's where the bad news comes in.

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Ticketmaster Sends Swell Season Suicide Witnesses 'How Was The Show?' E-Mails

Categories: Tragedy
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You don't need to follow the comments on our post about the suicide at Thursday's Swell Season concert to guess that the many fans who witnessed the sudden death of another person might be a bit, well, distraught. (Quite distraught, in fact.) So it's perhaps also not surprising that fans who saw a 32-year-old San Jose man fatally jump from a roof onto the stage in the middle of the set aren't thrilled about receiving generic "how was the concert?" e-mails from Ticketmaster and Live Nation.

But somehow, they're still getting those e-mails.

"Show rocked? Tell us about it," chirps the graphic in one Live Nation message that an irate Swell Season fan shared with us. So she did. "I responded to both surveys, just so I could put in the comment field, 'We were all witness to a horrific suicide. You need to fix your automated email messaging,'" the woman told us in an e-mail earlier today, explaining that e-mail marketing is part of her job.

Other potential answers are numerous. "A good friend suggested I should respond: 'Dear TM: Glad you asked. Was viscerally reminded of own mortality. Feel so alive. Please include suicides at all future shows. P.S.: Seriously, Ticketmaster, I'm billing you for the therapy. Luckily, it'll be cheaper than your ticket fee.'"

Yikes. It should be pointed out that both messages were automated, and that Ticketmaster's went out only hours after the show ended -- at which point only limited information about what happened at the concert was available. But still.

Update, 5:06 p.m.: Live Nation's Aaron Siuda says the e-mails were part of an automated system and have been stopped. "They're not going out anymore," he tells All Shook Down. "We're sending an apology note out to the people who did receive them." Siuda said the company is "taking steps" to make sure it doesn't again send out the automated e-mails after shows where something went wrong.

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Video Shows Aftermath of Swell Season Concert Suicide

Categories: Tragedy

This video was taken in the aftermath of the suicide at the Swell Season concert at Mountain Winery Thursday night. It doesn't show the jump itself, but it does capture the stunned silence among the crowd afterwards and the directions given by the concert organizers.

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Updated: Man Dives onto Stage in Suicide at Thursday's Swell Season Concert

Categories: Tragedy
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The stage at Mountain Winery
​A man jumped from a roof onto the stage during a Swell Season concert at Mountain Winery in Saratoga Thursday night in an apparent suicide, according to news reports and witnesses.

Update, Saturday, 11:49 a.m.: Swell Season members Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova have addressed their feelings about the suicide extensively on their Twitter feeds.

Update, Friday, 5:43 p.m.: The Mercury News reports that the suicide victim "was facing charges of assault with a firearm, domestic violence, and false imprisonment." Pickels was out on $150,000 bail, twice the normal amount, according to the Merc.

Update, Friday, 1:22 p.m.: The suicide victim has been identified as Michael Edward Pickels, 32, of San Jose, by the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner.

Update, Friday, 10:46 a.m.: Santa Clara County Sheriff Sgt. Rick Sung reports that the man who jumped was not alone at the concert:

"The victim went to a concert with a friend," Sung says. "During the performance, he left his friend, leaving all personal belongings behind.

"The next thing the concertgoers in the audience see is the same guy up on the rooftop above the stage, and he jumps off the rooftop, landing on the stage."

Sung says paramedics and a doctor who was in the audience tried to revive the man with CPR for over an hour, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Several who were at the concert tell All Shook Down that the man climbed up onto the roof from the side of the building, then sprinted and stumbled to the top before jumping off as the band was finishing a song. He fell approximately three stories, possibly through lighting rigging, then landed on a speaker on the stage less than three feet from Swell Season vocalist/songwriter Glen Hansard, witnesses tell All Shook down in e-mails.

Concertgoers say a stunned Hansard walked over to the man before realizing what had happened. Then he and Swell Season member Marketa Irglova quickly left the stage. The stunned audience was asked to remain seated as paramedics reached the man, but CPR was abandoned minutes after it began, and a helicopter was later called off.

"Glen was joking about his new guitar player, poking fun at one of his songs when a body shot down from above and slammed downstage left," one witness told All Shook Down in an e-mail. "The guy fell like a dead weight, not flailing, not screaming, just hitting the stage hard and bouncing from the impact. Even Glen didn't know what it was until he stood over it and realized a man had just launched himself from the top of the stone church-like building at the back of the stage."

Update, Friday, 9:50 a.m.: The Swell Season released the following statement to Hot Press: "The band, crew and all involved with them are shocked and saddened by the unfortunate events of last night. Their hearts go out to the victim and his friends and family."

Also: a brief YouTube video shows the aftermath of the suicide Thursday night.

Update, Thursday, 12:40 a.m.: The San Jose Mercury News is reporting that the man who jumped is dead.

Update, Thursday, 12:32 a.m.: A witness says they were standing right next to the man before he jumped, and describes him as appearing in his mid-to-late twenties with dark hair. 

"He stood alone and he seemed melancholy and removed from the show ... but not necessarily distraught," the fan writes. "We made eye contact and smiled at each other and shortly after, I noticed he had left."

"Almost immediately, I noticed a figure climbing onto the roof. He pulled himself up on the roof and starting sprinting towards the edge. It's quite a distance and he lost his footing more than once. He kept getting up, determined to follow through."

Several witnesses tell All Shook Down that the man was lying totally still on the stage after the fall and that paramedics abandoned CPR. Some report seeing blood around the man.

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S.F. Band Early Graves' Tour Van Crashes in Oregon, Vocalist Killed

Categories: Tragedy
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Early Graves, with vocalist Makh Daniels on the far right
S.F. metal band Early Graves suffered a terrible tragedy early this morning when its tour van crashed outside Medford, Ore., killing 28-year-old vocalist Makh Daniels and injuring two others in the vehicle, the AP reports.

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Makh Daniels
Daniels, who according to Oregon police lives in Pacifica, was riding in the back of the van without a seat belt, and was ejected. The driver of the van, guitarist Justin Garcia of the Orange County metal outfit Funeral Pyre, was taken to the hospital with injuries along with another occupant.

Early Graves has five members, according to its Myspace page; the state of the other members was not immediately clear.

Early Graves and Funeral Pyre were touring together, according to their Myspace pages. They performed in Salem, Ore., last night and were on their way to a gig in Reno scheduled for tonight. Both bands were booked to play Submission Gallery in San Francisco tomorrow night (August 3).

We've contacted Early Graves publicist for more information, and will update this post if we hear anything.

Update, 2:25 p.m.: Early Graves' label, Ironclad Recordings, posted the following statement to its website moments ago:
Last night Makh Daniels, vocalist of Early Graves, tragically lost his life in a van accident while the band was traveling from Oregon to Nevada. An official statement will be released in time, but for now our thoughts are with Makhs family, friends and band mates during this terrible time.
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