As police try to track down leads, Houston’s hip-hop community is mourning the shooting death of Dominic Levar Brown, known as Money Clip D, outside a southwest Houston after-hours club early Friday.
“This is one of those cases where we need witnesses to come forward,” Houston police spokeswoman Jodi Silva said.
Brown, 34, described as the “right-hand man” for rapper Trae (Frazier Thompson III), was sitting in a car and talking to friends outside the Breakers after-hours club in the 9600 block of Bissonnet when an unknown gunman opened fire about 5:30 a.m., fatally wounding him, according to reports.
Before the shooting, a seemingly unrelated fight ignited inside the club between two groups of people. The brawlers moved the fight outside and exchanged gunfire, HPD spokeswoman Jodi Silva said. No one reportedly was injured in that incident, which occurred between 4:30 and 5 a.m.
Brown, who reportedly did not hear the gunfire because of the loud music inside the club, walked to his car after the bar closed. He was sitting on the driver’s side talking to two women when the unknown gunman opened fire. No other injuries were reported in that incident.
Brown’s death sent shock waves through Houston’s tight-knit hip-hop community, which took to social media over the weekend to pay respects to Brown, who lived in Katy.
“We keep losing the good ones,” rapper Bun B said on Twitter.
Trae tweeted on his good friend: “R.I.P. my man clip ALWAYS showed me love whenever I touched H-Town or anywhere in Texas ... Me and My Brother Always Been Side By Side ...Win, Lose or Draw Against Whateva.”
On Thanksgiving Day, Trae and Clip D handed out food to underprivileged Houston residents, said Nancy Byron, Trae’s publicist.
“Everyone is gutted,” she said. “He (Clip D) was like a brother to Trae. If you saw Clip, you saw Trae.”
As news of the shooting began to spread early Friday, about 150 family, friends and fans gathered at a Houston hospital where he was being treated, waiting for news.
Money Clip D, with his friend Trae, put their love for the community into practice. Clip D managed Trae’s Project ABN, a musical group and charity.
In recognition of the rapper’s community involvement, Mayor Bill White in 2008 proclaimed July 22 as “Trae Day” in the city.
The giving continues today, Byron said. Trae is building a children’s center in southwest Houston that will serve as a transitional shelter for infants, children and young adults who are making the transition into foster homes through Child Protective Services.
Money Clip D embraced the idea with open arms because it is what he was all about, Byron said.
“He was never anything but sweet and respectable,” Byron said. “He handled Trae’s business very well. He was a great dad and a great friend.”
Meanwhile, Houston’s music community will show respects for Money Clip D at a candlelight vigil from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday at Alief Amity Park, 12509 Alief Clodine Road in Houston.
Anyone with information about the case is urged to call Houston police homicide division at 713-308-3600 or Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS.