Crime

Miami rapper shot to death in Liberty City car wash as large crowd gathers

 

Rapper Bizzle performs "Lip Biting Animal" at Miami Beach High:

dmoskovitz@MiamiHerald.com

A Miami rapper known as Bizzle was shot and killed Monday night in Liberty City, prompting a large, emotional crowd to gather at the scene.

The victim was identified by police as Robert Labranche, 37, of Miami. Word quickly spread on Twitter that Labranche is a local rapper known as Bizzle or Chowtime.

Bizzle’s MySpace bio identifies him as Robert “Bizzle” Branche, who has uploaded several video performances on YouTube.

On Tuesday morning, a handful of friends and family members gathered at the Magic City car wash where Bizzle was killed.

Among them was Alex Pierre-Louis his former music manager.

Pierre-Louis said Bizzle was a well-liked businessman who employed young men to work at his car wash on Northwest 54th Street and Seventh Avenue.

"He didn't grow up with a lot of money. If he saw a little kid buying food at Wendy's he paid for the food. He was always looking out for people."

Bizzle's younger brother was too inconsolable to speak with reporters.

"My brother just died," he said.

According to Miami police, officers on patrol in the area of the car wash at 770 NW 54th St. heard gunshots about 8 p.m. and began canvassing the area. They found Labranche’s body on the ground in the corner of the car wash.

Labranche had two children, both younger than 10, inside an SUV he was apparently driving at the time. The children were not hurt, said Miami police spokesman Willie Moreno.

“Fortunately they didn’t see the incident,” Moreno said. “They were on the other side of the building.”

A crowd gathered after the shooting scene and police said several people became emotional.

“This is someone who was definitely loved in the community,” Moreno said.

Two relatives were briefly detained and removed from the crime scene, Moreno said, to protect evidence at the crime scene.

No arrests have been made early Tuesday and police gave no immediate motive for the shooting.

Detectives said they are looking for a man in his 20s, wearing all black, who ran from the scene after the shooting.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call the Miami Police Department’s Homicide Unit at 305-603-6350 or Miami-Dade County Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477.

Miami Herald staffer Noel Gonzalez contributed to this report.

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