Woman held husband’s death over gang affiliation, but suspects were chased down by police

Written by Staff Writer

(CNN) — A Memphis woman whose boyfriend was shot and killed Sunday in a drive-by was spotted crying in the driver’s seat of her black Range Rover when a group of men confronted her husband outside a Memphis warehouse early Wednesday, her husband told CNN affiliate WREG.

Jayvena Howard says she spoke to another woman who saw the group of men talking to her husband and her friend, Nia Payne, as they waited to pick up one of their passengers at the warehouse.

“Their conversation seemed odd to me and (Nia) was hesitant,” Howard told WREG.

“They had a cigarette in their hand and (my husband) asked them why they were smoking. The man told him, ‘Don’t play with me.’ He proceeded to pull out a gun and point it at my husband and said, ‘What do you want?'”

The bullet hit her 31-year-old husband, Charles Howard, in the chest and killed him, his wife said. She was taken to a hospital with a broken arm and gunshot wounds to her hand and legs.

“It feels like it’s not real,” she told WREG. “I’m not real, I’m not real. I wish it was just fake.”

Two of the men confronted her and her friends about Dolph, a Memphis rapper who was fatally shot in Los Angeles on Sunday, WREG reported. The men shouted racial epithets at them, her husband said.

“They wanted to ask him about Young Dolph and the rapper he was linked to the murders of,” the station reported Charles Howard as saying. “Her friend Nia Payne told them to go pound sand and keep talking to her husband about Dolph.”

But then police said they saw the men, the station reported. They started to run but were eventually caught, police said. None of the men had a firearm, police said. No one has been arrested.

Charles Howard is a part owner of Dolph’s Turntables, which serves as a recording studio, recording store and joint venture with a clothing store.

“My husband, he actually had no idea that he got shot or got shot to death over somebody else’s gang affiliation,” Howard said. “It was very short-lived. In the midst of their verbal feud, (the men) drew their guns and shot my husband.”

In a video of the moment Charles Howard was taken to the hospital, he appears to be asking where his family is waiting, making a fist and saying, “I’m sorry.”

“My condolences to the family of Young Dolph. For him to be killed over some beef, I know many people from the city say ‘Let the beef alone’ and now what we have to deal with is people pulling guns and shooting people,” WREG quoted Charles Howard as saying.

The shooting also left 29-year-old Nia Payne wounded, according to the station. Her brother told WREG he feared for her life after police detained him on Monday and questioned him about Young Dolph.

Dolph’s death comes nearly one year after another Memphis rapper, Slim Dunkin, was shot and killed in the city’s East Precinct. Investigators said Dolph was linked to the death of the rapper.

Dolph was one of hip-hop’s rising stars, largely due to his mix of street rhymes and slick delivery. He signed to Interscope Records in January and had a single with Pusha T, “Exodus 23:1,” which features Lil Wayne.

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