MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE — The two individuals suspected of killing Young Dolph have allegedly been apprehended by authorities. Justin Johnson, 23, and Cornelius Smith, 23, have been detained by law authorities, according to a tweet from FOX13 Memphis reporter Jeremy Pierre, who has been investigating the case since the fatal November 2021 shooting.
"Breaking: Both Young Dolph suspected gunmen are in custody," Pierre tweeted. Cornelius Smith (the gunman wearing the Bass Pro Hat) and Justin 'Straight Drop' Johnson."
On Tuesday (January 11), U.S. Marshals apprehended Johnson in Indiana, while Smith was also apprehended and placed into Shelby County Jail on a charge of first-degree murder.
For less than a week, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the United States Marshals Service, and the Memphis Police Department had been on a countrywide manhunt for Johnson.
Johnson is charged with first-degree murder and theft ranging from $10,000 to $60,000. Johnson was arrested for a triple shooting at Billy Hardwick's All Star Lanes bowling alley in 2017 before the Young Dolph murder. Johnson's five-year sentence for the shooting was commuted to a five-month term when a court approved his release.
Judge Chris Craft of Shelby County Criminal Court noted at the time, "It's called the Department of Corrections, not the Department of Punishment." The motion to suspend Johnson's five-year jail term was then approved by him.
The aspiring rapper took to Instagram nearly two months after Young Dolph's death and two days after Johnson was identified to proclaim his innocence. He also stated that he will turn himself in on Monday (January 10) but did not follow through. Any information leading to an arrest would be eligible for a $15,000 prize. It's unclear if law enforcement got any information that may lead to Johnson's arrest.
On November 17, 2021, while picking up cookies at Makeda's, little Dolph was shot and died. The public was finally shown video footage of the alleged murders, which showed the man was wearing the identical Bass Pro Hat.