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We have all heard the saying ‘Guns Don’t Kill, People Do’. . . well, actually, it’s the combination of the two.  Every year in the U.S., an average of more than 100,000 people are the victims of gun violence. Some survive but many do not. Here are just a few familiar faces and names of folks from different walks of life who did not survive.

Famous Folks We Lost to Gun Violence  was originally published on

1. Sam Cooke (1931-1964)

Sam Cooke (1931-1964)

Singer, songwriter and entrepreneur Sam Cooke was fatally shot by the manager of the Hacienda Motel in Los Angeles, California, at the age of 33. (Photo: Tumblr)

2. Scott LaRock (1962-1987)

Scott LaRock (1962-1987)

Scott Sterling aka Scott LaRock was the original DJ for Boogie Down Productions. He met rapper KRS-ONE while working as a social worker. Scott was trying to help a friend defuse a situation. As they were leaving, bullets ripped through the side and top of the Jeep. Sterling was hit in the neck. He died in surgery as hour later. He was 25 years old.

3. Soulja Slim (1977-2003)

Soulja Slim (1977-2003)

James Tapp, Jr aka Soulja Slim was at his mothers for Thanksgiving when an unknown gunman shot him four times; three times in the face, and once in the chest, in the front lawn of her home. He was 26 years old.

4. Mac Dre (1970-2004)

Mac Dre (1970-2004)

Andre Louis Hicks, aka Mac Dre, was a rapper and the initial founder of Thizz Entertainment, and the now defunct Romp Productions. He was fatally shot while riding in a van by unknown assailants in a stolen black Infiniti G35. The case is still open. He was 34 years old.

5. Lamont Coleman aka Big L (1974-1999)

Lamont Coleman aka Big L (1974-1999)

Big L was a rapper from Harlem. He was shot and killed in a drive by shooting. His manager and brother released his album a year after he passed and it was certified gold by the RIAA. He was 24 years old.

6. Lil Phat (1992-2012)

Lil Phat (1992-2012)

Melvin Vernell III aka Lil Phat was a rapper who was signed at the age of 15. He was fatally shot inside a parking garage while in Georgia. He was 19 years old.

7. VL Mike (1976-2008)

VL Mike (1976-2008)

Michael Allen aka VL Mike was a rapper and songwriter from New Orleans. He was shot several times while exiting his vehicle. He was 32 years old.

8. Sabotage (1973-2003)

Sabotage (1973-2003)

Mauro Mateus dos Santos was a Brazilian rapper Having grown up slinging drugs in São Paulo’s rough South Zone, he became one of the biggest sensations of hip hop in Brazil. He was fatally shot by an alleged drug dealer. He was 29 years old.

9. Patrick Hawkins aka Fat Pat (1970-1998)

Patrick Hawkins aka Fat Pat (1970-1998)

Fat Pat was a rapper from Houston, Texas. He was returning from a promoter’s home where he had gone to collect an appearance fee. He was fatally shot in the corridor outside the apartment. He was 27 years old.