Troy D. Sanders
Yesterday 26-year-old Troy Deshone Sanders - better known as the Seattle-based rapper John Taylor - was officially charged with the murder of Courtney Taylor (no relation) in a Jack in the-Box parking lot on Rainier Avenue South. The second-degree charges came exactly one week after Courtney Taylor, also an area rapper, was gunned down back on May 16.
Troy D. Sanders
As was heavily reported at the time, police were called to the Jack in the Box at 9200 Rainier Ave. S at approximately 8:24 p.m. May 16 after reports of a shooting came in. When they arrived police were greeted by what charging documents describe as a "hostile and angry mob." The Seattle Times reported that members of this mob were "posturing, ripping off their shirts and challenging officers to fight," according to Seattle Police Department spokesman Mark Jamieson.
When responding officers were able to get to Taylor he was unconscious and unresponsive. He was transported to Harborview where he was pronounced dead.
Charging documents indicate there were 40-50 people at the scene, though initially no one provided officers with information as to what transpired.
However, two hours later what charging documents describe as an "anonymous female" approached detectives and told them that the shooter in Taylor's murder was a rapper named "John Taylor" - who, as mentioned, had been filming a rap video.
"South Seattle" by the rapper known as John Taylor
A short time later detectives interviewed "several" females who had been going through the drive-thru at the time of the murder. According to charging documents they told police that they were watching a man with a camera film another man apparently shooting a rap video when the victim and a "light-skinned black male with a short fade haircut" got into a physical altercation - a fight that ended when "the suspect disengaged from the victim, pulled out a gun, and shot the victim once." After the victim had fallen to the ground, the female witnesses told police the shooter stood over the victim, took a necklace from him, and fired another shot before driving off in a black Mercedes.
The next morning SPD received a photo of the rapper John Taylor believed to be involved in the shooting. Court documents indicate the photo depicted the rapper John Taylor wearing a "t-shirt with a distinct insigna."
The insignia would prove important. According to charging documents:
Detectives conducted an internet search of the t-shirt's reference and found a number of music videos posted featuring the male in the picture who was rapping under the name "John Taylor". The male also had the tattoo "Troy Boy" on his arms. Detectives researched variations of the names and identified Troy D. Sanders as the individual rapping as "John Taylor" and the individuals depicted in the photo and videos. Sanders' most recent booking photos (December 2010) captured the tattoos seen in the posted videos.
Police also learned that Sanders was the registered owner of a black 2001 Mercedes 500 --a vehicle that according to prosecutors appears to be featured in several of "John Taylor's" music videos.
"Dumbass Slap" by the rapper known as John Taylor
Two days after the murder police interviewed one of the 911 callers present at the time of the shooting who reiterated what the female witnesses from the drive-thru had told police -- saying that the shooter was well known as the rapper John Taylor. The 911 caller later picked a photo of Sanders out of a montage as the man he knew as the rapper John Taylor.
That same day police interviewed another witness who also told police the shooter was the rapper John Taylor. This witnesses story was exactly the same as the previous witnesses, other than suggesting the victim had started the altercation by approaching Sanders and hitting him in the face and then grabbing a necklace from him. According to charging documents that's when the witness says Sanders pulled out a gun and shot Courtney Taylor, at which point he fell to the ground and Sanders took the necklace back from him before shooting him again. This witness also told police that the rapper he knew as John Taylor then drove off in a black Mercedes.
On Tuesday police spoke to Sanders' sister. According to charging documents:
Sanders' sister, AS, spoke with detectives on May 22nd. She said that Sanders came to her apartment in Bellevue a day or two after the shooting. She said that he had visible injuries: a swollen nose, cut lip, and scratches on his stomach area. Sanders admitted to his sister that he was involved in the shooting. AS said that her brother told her that three males tried to rob him. She said that sanders told her that the male who ended up being killed grabbed a chain from his neck and the two of them physically fought. AS said that Sanders told her that he got his chain back by using his weapon. He told her that he fired two shots. AS said that Sanders told her that he left his Mercedes at a friend's condo parking lot near I-90 and the Coal Creek Parkway.
Later on May 22nd detectives located Sanders' Mercedes parked at 3530 Lake Washington Blvd SE in Bellevue. Detectives interviewed DF, and acquaintance of Sanders, at the location. DF stated that Sanders contacted him on the night of May 16th and said that he needed to come over. DF said that sanders was pacing and acting strangely but would not tell him what happened. Sanders asked to leave his Mercedes parked outside of DF's building. DF said that the Mercedes had remained parked at the location since that night.
More music videos by the rapper known as John Taylor on the following page ...
"Bottles & Drugs"
"The Issue/Money is the Reason"
"Boss Nigga/Off in My Pad"