*Upcoming hip-hop artist and producer Kevin Robert Harris II was just 21 when he was gunned down outside of a music studio in Los Angeles on Sept. 20, 2009. The case remains unsolved.
CBS THIS MORNING: SATURDAY co-host Michelle Miller and 48 HOURS SUSPICION investigate the death of Harris and his family’s search for answers in “The Ambush of Kevin Harris” to be broadcast Wednesday, Sept. 30 (10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
The morning of his death, Kevin Harris had a frightening premonition.
His mother Katheryn Harris tells 48 HOURS SUSPICION that she sensed something was wrong with her son, so she asked him. “He said, ‘Everything’s just happening so fast. I feel like something’s going to happen.’ I said, ‘Don’t think like that.’”
By all accounts, Kevin Harris was about to make it. He’d just sold a beat to hip-hop legend Ice Cube, and he had finished a song and music video that were about to become a local radio hit. His father says he heard Britney Spears and Rihanna were interested in some of his music. Harris’ parents say he was devoted to his craft and his family. And then one summer night in 2009 he was gone, shot dead.
The motive for his shooting is a mystery. Was he killed in a case of mistaken identity? Did he get mixed up with the wrong people? Did he unknowingly offend someone? Was he set up? One thing is certain is that witnesses have been hard to find.
“When these situations occur, they’re like, ‘I’m not dealing with the law enforcement,’” says Rahman Dukes, a music industry executive and digital music pioneer. “‘They weren’t here to help us. Why are we going to help them?’ I have seen people step forward, but the majority of the time that doesn’t happen.”
After years of no progress, local authorities turned to the FBI for support. New detectives on the case along with Harris’ family are determined to find his killer. They now suspect a jealous rival, an aspiring rapper, may be connected with the murder, and they have narrowed the list of suspects. They feel they are very close but need information.
“We really need help from the public,” says FBI Special Agent Sean Sterle. “Anybody who knows anything about this case and what happened to him and what happened that night to come forward…and that’s what our plea is to the public.”
Both detectives and his family remain convinced the mystery of Harris’ murder will be solved.
“The clues are absolutely out there, we just need that one piece, that one smoking gun,” says Kevin Harris, Sr., the artist’s father.
48 HOURS SUSPICION: “The Ambush of Kevin Harris” is produced by Chuck Stevenson and Lauren A. White. Michelle Fanucci is the development producer. Phil Tangel, Greg Kaplan and George Baluzy are the editors. Gail Zimmerman and Patti Aronofsky are the senior producers. Nancy Kramer is the executive story editor. Judy Tygard is the executive producer.