Photo by Miikka Skaffari via Getty Images.
Zumbi died on August 13th at the age of 49.
The circumstances surrounding the death of Zion I‘s Stephen “Zumbi” Gaines are being called into question after a Berkeley Police rep claimed the rapper was involved in a “physical altercation” with nurses and security at a Bay Area hospital.
According to a report from the San Francisco Chronicle, Berkeley Police have begun investigating Gaines’ death as a homicide. BPD’s Lt. Melanie Turner told the publication officers responded to calls from staff and patients at Alta Bates Hospital, where Zumbi was recovering from contracting COVID-19. Officers reported a patient was placed into handcuffs after being pinned down by hospital security at the time of their arrival. At some point after that, responding officers determined the patient “needed immediate medical assistance” and began administering ” lifesaving measures” until hospital staff were able to step in. Turner declined to confirm the name of the patient in the altercation, but noted “unfortunately and sadly he was pronounced deceased on the scene.”
The Zion I rapper’s death was announced by his family on Friday, August 13th, in a statement to KQED. “It is with utter disbelief and great sadness that the Gaines family shares the news of the passing of Steve ‘Zumbi’ Gaines,” the family wrote. “My heart right now is just shattered,” wrote Zumbi’s Zion I partner and DJ, Amp Live in an Instagram post. “I would not be who I am today without my brother,” Amp added. In a separate post, Amp shared a GoFundMe campaign started by the Gaines Family in an effort to raise money for a scholarship fund for Zumbi’s three young sons. The campaign has raised more than $100,000 to date. You can donate here.
This story is still developing. Stay tuned for updates from the investigation in the days ahead.