Courts
Jonathan Miano, The Times

CROWN POINT — A 25-year-old Gary rapper gunned down in East Chicago might have been targeted because of his rhymes, according to police.

Robert S. Currie was charged Wednesday in Lake Criminal Court with murder and battery by means of a deadly weapon on allegations he fatally shot Ashanti Walden on June 23 in the 4800 block of Alexander Avenue, according to the probable cause affidavit.

Currie, 23, of East Chicago, denied shooting Walden in an interview with East Chicago detectives Sept. 16, but he said the man made a lot of enemies because he was rapping about guns, people's deaths and crimes.

Walden, who went by the street name “Bundles,” was found by police dead of gunshot wounds the night of June 23 outside a storefront in the 4800 block of Alexander Avenue.

A medical examiner determined Walden was shot with full metal jacket bullets in the left hip and right side of his chest, the affidavit states.

A second man shot in the foot was transported to St. Catherine Hospital, the affidavit states.

Several witnesses to the shooting identified the gunman as Currie, according to the affidavit.

One witness told police Currie approached him before the shooting with a gun clip sticking out of the pocket of his hooded sweat shirt and said, “I ain't playing defense, I'm playing offense,” the affidavit states.

The witness said Currie snuck up on Walden from a nearby alleyway, and fired four or five shots from a 40-caliber pistol, the affidavit states.

Another witness said Walden had written a mocking rap song about Currie and his friend. He said Walden also had allegedly robbed Currie, the affidavit states.

Currie told police he was with his cousin at his grandmother's house the night of the shooting, but the cousin denied Currie was at the family's home, according to the affidavit.

Currie was arrested Thursday, according to court records. He is jailed without bond.

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Courts and social justice reporter

Steve covers Lake County courts and social justice issues for The Times. The UW-Milwaukee graduate joined The Times in 2016 after reporting on criminal justice in New Mexico and Wisconsin.