Jalen Cockerham was an up-and-coming hip-hop artist who took pride in being from Winston-Salem’s northside, often appearing in videos with the word “Northside” emblazoned across his chest.
On Saturday, Cockerham, 23, of the 4200 block of Ogburn Avenue, was found dead of an apparent gunshot wound, his body lying on Cody Drive when Winston-Salem Police arrived around 11 p.m. Five others were injured in the shooting in the 4200 block of Cody Drive, which is about two blocks from North Hills Elementary School on Alspaugh Drive.
One of the five injured gunshot victims was in critical condition Sunday morning, according to police. The other four were treated for injuries that are not considered life-threatening. One victim of an apparent assault related to the incident also arrived at a local hospital for treatment, police said.
No suspects were in custody as of Sunday evening.
Police responded to the scene after receiving several calls about gunfire.
Cockerham performed under the moniker of Jigg Marley. He released a 10-song album, “Marl3y,” in February available on iTunes.
News of his death sparked an outpouring of grief on social media, where people remembered him for his positive demeanor and sense of humor.
A small group of people gathered on the front porch of Cockerham’s home Sunday afternoon. A woman there declined to talk, saying it was too soon and to come back another day.
A few miles away, yellow tape marked the crime scene at Cody Drive, closing off the short, dead-end street. Nearby, a couple sat in lawn chairs under the expansive shade of a tree, finding relief from an unusually hot May day. The man, who declined to give his name, said he has lived in the neighborhood for more than 40 years.
“This neighborhood is pretty quiet,” he said. “There’s never been nothing like this.”
Authorities are asking that anyone with information regarding this investigation contact the Winston-Salem Police Department at (336) 773-7700 or CrimeStoppers at (336) 727-2800 (En Español (336) 728-3904). CrimeStoppers may also be contacted via “Crime Stoppers of Winston-Salem” on Facebook.
This is the sixth homicide in 2019, compared to nine homicides at this time last year.