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Melvin Vernell III, aka Lil Phat, fatally shot outside Northside Hospital

12:07 PM, Jun 8, 2012   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- Sandy Springs Police have released the name of the man shot and killed outside Northside Hospital Thursday evening.

Police Capt. Steve Rose said the victim was 19-year-old Melvin Vernell III, an aspiring rapper who went by the name Lil Phat. Vernell was signed to Trill Entertainment, according to blog djbishopradio and other hip-hop websites.

Vernell was shot several times Thursday evening in the parking deck near the entrance to Northside Hospital's Women's Center. He was pronounced dead later that night.

Police said witnesses saw possibly two men running away from the shooting. The search for the suspects continues Friday morning.

The hospital went on lockdown for two hours after the shooting as police searched the entire campus.

Kristin Dooley, who was at Northside to have a baby, heard the shooting from her room.

"I was in my hospital bed and I heard what I thought were gunshots. So I mentioned to my husband that that's what I thought it was," she said. "People were running in all different directions. There were nurses running out and there were cops running. At that point they put the hospital on lockdown ... not what you expect when you go in to have a baby."

Police said the shooting at Northside Hospital was not related to another Thursday afternoon fatal shooting at a funeral in Stone Mountain.

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