J $tash, a rapper from South Florida, was found dead in Temple City, Calif., after he shot and killed Jeanette Gallegos in front of her three kids before taking his own life.
Authorities are still investigating the crime, which occurred on Saturday morning, New Year’s Day, after they were responding to calls warning of domestic violence.
Police found Jeanette Gallegos, 27, and rapper J $tash, 28 (born Justin Joseph), dead with multiple gunshot wounds. Gallegos’ three children, boys aged from 5 to 11, were reported safe and removed from the location.
One of the children also placed a call to 911, though it’s unclear if that call was made before or after the tragic event, People reported. They called their grandmother about the incident, who said to dial 911. They are now staying with other family members.
According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, “The female victim sustained multiple gunshot wounds, while the male victim sustained an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.”
Investigators believe J $tash shot Gallegos as part of a murder suicide, but authorities have yet to uncover a possible motive.
“Right now, the evidence at the scene and the preliminary information we have from the children in the home is that it’s a murder-suicide,” Lieutenant Derrick Alfred told Complex, adding that a firearm was recovered.
Some outlets reported that Justin Joseph and Jeanette Gallegos were in a relationship, as well, though that information has yet to be confirmed. Lieutenant Alfred said he was aware that the couple had been dating a year in a statement to the Associated Press, and that neither of the three children were the rapper’s.
Back in 2016, J $tash was accused of domestic assault from one of his ex-girlfriends. At the time, he did not deny the assault but claimed that it was in self-defense.
Jeanette Gallegos, who was a recent graduate of California State University, got into an argument on New Year’s Day with J $tash, according to police.
Lieutenant Alfred said the couple was locked in the master bedroom together before violence erupted, with the three children right outside the door, knocking to get in. “It’s a very tragic situation,” he said.
Growing up in the South, Justin Joseph entrenched himself in the hip-hop scene around the Young Money record label and collective, owned and operated by rapper Lil Wayne, partnering under the name J $tash with rappers Rich the Kid and Maxo Kream.
“‘At the time Lil Wayne’s number one assistant [Tory Bless] was like my mentor,” the aspiring rapper told Crack Magazine back in 2017. “He brought me into that world and let me experience it all. It was a cool experience. I learned a lot from being around that crowd.”
The rapper allegedly modeled for Kanye West and spent a lot of time in Japan honing his skills with the burgeoning rap scene.
“Always be professional and always have a lawyer,” he told the magazine at the time. “That’s all I can say.”
Jeanette Gallegos’ sister, Erika Chavez, has since started a GoFundMe page to help cover the costs of the funeral, which has raised nearly $6,000 since Monday morning.
“God has gained another angel,” she wrote, expressing grief for the unexpected loss to her family and three nephews. Erika Chavez also shared her sister’s favorite quote: “live today because tomorrow is not promised.”
“My sister was full of life, she was the sweetest most caring person, always there for everyone who needed her,” Chavez said. She “leaves behind three beautiful boys who will have to continue living life with what’s left, the memories created with their mommy.”
This is a developing story. We will continue to update you as new information emerges.