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Police: Rapper Lil Phat fatally shot near Atlanta

Saturday - 6/9/2012, 12:18am  ET

SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. (AP) - Police have identified the 19-year-old man who was fatally shot outside a suburban Atlanta hospital as a rapper known as Lil Phat.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports ( http://bit.ly/LvkTO1) that the rapper _ whose real name is Melvin Vernell III, of Sandy Springs _ was fatally shot Thursday night.

Sandy Springs police spokesman Capt. Steve Rose said Friday that police are searching for two men seen fleeing the scene. The victim was found shot in a car parked on the second level of a parking deck next to the hospital. He was pronounced dead shortly afterward. A motive was not known.

Lil Phat was featured in rapper Webbie's 2007 song, "Independent," which also included Lil Boosie. The song, which praised a woman's independent nature, peaked at No. 9 on Billboard's 100 and topped the rap chart.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)