Snoop Dogg’s ex-bodyguard, McKinley Lee Jr., recently described the events that led to the rapper’s murder trial between 1995-1996.
Speaking with Cam Capone News, Lee needed time to gather himself before describing the events that led to him fatally shooting Philip Woldemariam. The former bodyguard claimed he and Snoop were mischaracterized in the media and were still prosecuted for the murder despite authorities knowing the truth.
Lee recalled being at Snoop Dogg’s apartment when he heard a commotion downstairs. Snoop was behind him when he grabbed his gun and headed downstairs. Once downstairs, he said he saw a guy leaning out of the car arguing with someone from their crew. Soon after, Lee said he saw a light-skinned face and then a gun come out of the window.
“So at that time, there was no threat. Snoop was right here, it wasn’t anything it was real quick,” Lee said. “So, immediately, I take off and I get Snoop upstairs so we rush him upstairs. I’m trying to calm everybody down, the situation was diffused.”
Lee said him, Snoop, Snoop’s friend Sean Abrams left to go to the studio. However, they later realized they left the DAT player at Snoop’s residence so they had to turn around.
“So we turn back around. But as we’re coming down the road, we see somebody in the middle of the street kind of flagging us down and I remember the guy leaning out of the back seat but I remember the front seat dude, he was like a heavy-set guy,” Lee continued. “I remember that, it was a quick scan. And so he’s flagging us down so Snoop kind of pulls over and he like, ‘Hey man, I’m sorry dog it’s my fault, it’s my fault. Man he just didn’t take his medicine. He was tripping, I’m sorry.'”
Lee said the man flagging them down was apologizing for his friend’s behavior earlier and blamed it on a diabetic episode. Lee said he later learned that diabetics can become agitated due to various factors and now wonders if that played a role in the potential shooter’s behavior.
“When Snoop pulled over, I take my gun and I set it on my lap,” Lee said. “And Snoop was in the driver seat and now I’m looking to my right because the guy is backing up and as he’s backing up, I have my gun on my lap. He’s backing all the way up to the cement and there’s a slight incline on the hill. And he kept backing up so now he’s approximately — I’d say — 15, 20 feet away from me.”
Lee said the man continued apologizing until “all of a sudden, the bushes flutter and you see somebody run out of the bushes and it was Philip Woldemariam at the time. He runs and he gets to his guy and his guy grabs him. He pushes him away and when he pushes, he lifts his shirt and he reaches. When I saw him start to reach, that’s when I took my gun and I fired.”
He said he was trying to hit Woldemariam in the lower part of his body but they were on an incline. So when Woldemariam turned, he got hit in the hip and the shoulder blade. Woldemariam attempted to run after Lee fired six shots but the hipshot traveled through his body and his body dropped about 50 or 75 yards from where he was shot.
According to Lee, Woldemariam’s friends took his gun so when the police arrived there was no weapon on him. He said he immediately called their attorney and made preparations to turn themselves in.
Before telling the story, Lee admitted that he doesn’t like talking about the incident and doesn’t wish to glorify it. He also expressed a desire to make amends with Woldemariam’s family but knows he wouldn’t be accepted.
Both Snoop Dogg and McKinley Lee Jr. were acquitted of murder charges on February 20, 1996.
View the above clip to hear the rest of Lee’s story.