Clues in the murder of Kevin Harris

Kevin Harris
We Are Vision Inc.

Inside the murder investigation of a rising young music producer and the FBI’s mission to crack the 11-year cold case.

Kevin Robert Harris II, also known by the stage name “Track BULLY,” was an up-and-coming music producer in Los Angeles, California. He was gunned down on Sunday, September 20, 2009, outside of a music studio. He was 21-years-old. 

The Premonition

Katheryn Harris
CBS News

On the morning Kevin Harris was murdered, he had a bad feeling. In an interview with “48 Hours,” his mother, Katheryn, recalled, “He said, ‘Everything’s just happening so fast. I feel like something’s gonna happen.’ I said, ‘Don’t think like that.'”

 Hours later, he was dead.

The Shooting

Evidence: Kevin Harris car
FBI

A little after 8 p.m. that Sunday night, Kevin Harris arrived at the music studio that was located in a residential area of Inglewood, California. Kevin was sitting in his green Camaro when he was shot and killed soon after arriving.  According to investigators, Kevin was supposed to meet with an aspiring rapper that night, but the rapper never showed. 

The Crime Scene

Kevin Harris evidence
FBI

Investigators believe Kevin Harris was shot at 10 to 17 times with two different guns. The shooters were so close that shell casings from the two different weapons were found inside Kevin’s car.

Gang Related?

Kevin Harris murder evidence
FBI

Witnesses to the shooting were difficult to find, but the police learned that a car drove up to Kevin Harris’s car, began shooting, and then sped away. The drive-by nature of the killing caused there to be early speculation that it was gang-related – an assumption that upset Kevin’s family and friends. They maintain that Kevin was not in a gang. Investigators agree and found no evidence that Kevin was in a gang.

The Case Goes Cold

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KCBS

With no new leads on Kevin’s killer, the case went cold. Kevin Harris’s parents held vigils every year for their son and invited local authorities. Their fight for justice never ceased.

Reward Offered

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Inglewood :Police Department

In 2011, two years after Kevin Harris’s murder, investigators still had no leads. The Inglewood Police Department offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for Kevin’s murder.

FBI Involvement

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CBS News

In June 2015, almost six years after Kevin’s murder, the Inglewood Police Department brought the FBI in to help with the case.

Voviette Morgan, pictured at left with “CBS This Moring: Saturday” co-host Michelle Miller, is in charge of FBI criminal investigations in L.A. Morgan told Miller that she is committed to finding who killed Kevin Harris and holding them accountable.

A Taste of Success

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Harris Family

The investigators looked into Kevin Harris’s burgeoning music career for clues into his murder.

Kevin was on his way to the top. He made a beat for hip-hop legend Ice Cube, his father heard that Britney Spears and Rihanna were interested in his music, and Kevin produced a song for and filmed a music video with a young rapper now named Gizzle. 

He never lived to hear their song played on the radio. 

“A Remarkable Kid”

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CBS News

FBI Special Agent Sean Sterle worked the cold case. He examined the case file and conducted interviews looking for clues and fresh leads. 

“Kevin Harris was really, quite a remarkable kid. We probably did somewhere close to 70 to 80 interviews. We could not find anybody who would say anything, closely, remotely negative about him,” Agent Sterle told “48 Hours.”

Retracing Kevin’s Final Hours

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CBS News

Former Los Angeles Police Department Homicide Detective John Skaggs came out of retirement to work with the local cold case unit and assist the FBI. Skaggs and  Michelle Miller visited the street where Kevin Harris was murdered to interview residents.

Skaggs told “48 Hours” that though this is a stalled case, it is “absolutely not hopeless … there’s still clues that haven’t been burnt out.” 

Eyewitness Account

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CBS News

While on the scene, Det. Skaggs and Michelle Miller spoke to Randy Thomas, the owner of the studio where Kevin Harris produced his music.

Thomas told “48 Hours” that, “It’s almost like someone had to have followed him here … no one usually comes here on Sunday nights.”

The Need for Protection

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KCBS

The possibility that Kevin Harris was followed by his killer that night rings true to Kevin’s father. Kevin Harris Sr. told “48 Hours” about a time when his son asked about bulletproof windows. When his father asked if there was anything wrong, Kevin told him no. “It was always, ‘I’m alright, Dad.'”

A Possible Motive

Kevin Harris
We Are Vision Inc.

Since Kevin Harris had such a good reputation, investigators pondered various theories, such as mistaken identity. They eventually ruled that out. Investigators now believe that Kevin was the intended target and that jealousy by a friend, acquaintance or music rival could have been the motive.

A Suspect

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Twitter

Investigators took another look at the aspiring rapper whom they say Kevin Harris was supposed to meet the night that he died.  That aspiring rapper was Desmond Carter, seen here.

 Det. Skaggs told “48 Hours” Kevin “had made plans – with one of the individuals who’s definitely a suspect in this case – to meet him at the studio at 8:00 p.m.. As far as I know, that individual was the only other person that knew that Kevin was gonna be at the studio at 8:00 p.m.”

 Investigators believe that that Sunday night trip to the studio was a trap. In 2017, Carter was arrested for the murder of Kevin Harris.  He was questioned, but never charged with anything.  Authorities say the evidence they had did not cross the threshold of reasonable doubt. 

 “48 Hours” reached out to Carter. He did not want to go on camera or comment directly. However, through a friend, he said he had nothing to do with Kevin’s death, and that he thought of Kevin as one of his best friends.

Still, according to investigators, Desmond Carter remains a suspect. 

FBI Billboard

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CBS News

Investigators are hoping for new information and say they are “80 to 85%” close to solving this 11-year-old cold case, but they need the public’s help.

 In 2018, the FBI put up a billboard in the Inglewood area to inform the public that the Inglewood PD and the FBI are now offering a combined reward of up to $50,000.

Anyone with information is asked to call (310) 477-6565 or get more details online

Searching for Justice

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CBS News

The murder of Kevin Robert Harris II remains unsolved. Kevin’s parents, Katheryn and Kevin Harris Sr. remain hopeful and say they will never give up on getting justice for their son.

“Let’s kick some doors in. Let’s stay relentless with this,” said Kevin Harris Sr. to “48 Hours.”