Rapper Fat Joe may have witnessed a fatal shooting outside a popular South Beach restaurant and police want to talk with him, authorities said Wednesday.
Witnesses told investigators that Fat Joe was riding in the same black Cadillac Escalade as the two victims of a Memorial Day shooting outside David's Cafe II, police spokesman Sgt. Bobby Hernandez said. Police believe Fat Joe, whose real name is Joe Cartagena, was an acquaintance of the two victims, Hernandez said.
"If he's a witness, we'd love to speak with him," Hernandez said.
Fat Joe spokeswoman Aimee Morris did not return a telephone message.
Lessli Paz, 25, of New York, was shot once and died at the scene. Homestead, Fla., resident Joey Navarro, 26, was hit three times and died shortly after being taken to a hospital.
Police arrested Miami resident Jermaine Chamberline, 24, on charges of second-degree murder and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He was taken into custody Monday afternoon and was jailed without bond.
Chamberline shot Paz and Navarro when a "verbal altercation" between two groups escalated into punching and kicking, according to a police report.
"They were walking through the parking lot, and we don't know exactly what was said, but it wasn't interpreted right by either of the parties," Hernandez said.
Fat Joe has spent more than a decade making rap records and gaining mainstream success by pairing up with R&B stars.
Miami Beach draws large crowds of hip-hop music fans for concerts and other events over the Memorial Day weekend. More than 700 people were arrested over the long holiday weekend, Hernandez said. More than 1,000 were arrested during the same weekend last year, mostly for misdemeanors.