BY MICHAEL LANSU
Homicide Watch Chicago Editor
Just hours after meeting with Chicago Bulls star Joakim Noah about an anti-violence event, the manager of Chicago rapper Lil Durk was gunned down in the Avalon Park neighborhood.
Uchenna Agina — know as Chino Dolla and OTF Chino — was sitting in a car in the 8400 block of South Stony Island Avenue when a gunman walked up and opened fire about 1:50 a.m. Friday, authorities said.
Police said a friend drove him to Advocate Trinity Hospital. A police source said Lil Durk was not the friend that took Agina to the hospital.
Agina, 24, of the 7900 block of South Karlov Avenue, died less than an hour later, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.
Agina was the manager for Lil Durk, a 22-year-old Chicago rapper signed to Def Jam records.
On Thursday, Agina accompanied Lil Durk and DJ Bandz to Joakim Noah’s Downtown condominium to discuss Noah’s “Rock Your Drop” anti-violence campaign, according to DJ Bandz’ manager, Devin Jackson.
Agina was killed hours later. Noah declined to comment through a Bulls spokesperson.
Jackson, 23, said he met Agina on Tuesday at a photo shoot for Lil Durk’s upcoming album, “Remember My Name.” Jackson said he hung out with Agina again on Wednesday at an art show at Mars Gallery in the West Loop.
“Chino was a good dude,” Jackson said. “He took care of the business. That is what he was known for.”
Jackson said Agina was a behind the scenes guy, and called him “humble.”
“I definitely didn’t think what happened to him would happen to him,” Jackson said.
Both Agina and Banks have pleaded guilty to gun crimes.
Agina pleaded guilty in November 2010 to a misdemeanor gun charge, according to court records. Lil Durk, whose real name is Durk Banks, is currently fighting a felony gun charge in Cook County for aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and being a felon in in possession of a firearm.
Banks previously pleaded guilty to gun charges in 2011 and 2013, according to court records.
Community activist Andrew Holmes said young men understand the choices they make when they decide to pick up a gun.
“They know if they pull the trigger and discharge a gun they are going to do damage or someone is going to lose their life,” Holmes said.
Holmes is currently working to establish a program to provide computer technology training classes to youths to give them life skills as an alternative to violence.
Joakim Noah has assisted in Father Michael Pfleger’s “Balling For Peace” basketball tournament as a means to bring together different gang factions in a friendly, controlled environment.
Noah has starred in an anti-violence Public Service Announcement with other Chicagoans, including Derrick Rose, urging people to stand up against violence.
The NBA all-star recently unveiled his #RockTheDrop initiative, centered around a tear drop necklace, to raise awareness of gun violence in Chicago. Noah and Lil Durk can be seen wearing the tear drop necklace in photos shared on social media before the shooting.
Noah received the NBA Cares Community Assist Award for his efforts earlier this month.
“When you’re an athlete, you have a platform,’’ Noah said after being honored. “Chicago is a place that really needs it. We need as many after school programs as possible. That’s why I’m so proud of wearing that drop because I think [the drop is] a symbol for giving back to the neighborhood.”
As news of Agina’s death started to trickle out Friday afternoon on the rap websites AllHipHop.com and Vice’s The Noisy, local rappers and rap fans took to social media to expresses their condolences.
Chicago rapper Dreezy posted:
Last summer, Durk’s cousin McArthur Swindle, who rapped under the name Nuski, was shot and killed.
Nobody has been charged for Agina’s killing. Area South detectives are investigating.
— Contributing: Brandon Wall, Network Video Productions