Inglewood man charged with murder in death of rapper Kid Cali

Kid Cali attends A World Peace Day Celebration -The 3rd Annual Bullets 4 Peace Reloading Life Event! at W Hollywood Hotel on Sept. 21, 2011.
(Vivien Killilea / WireImage)

An Inglewood man was charged Tuesday in the slaying of rapper Kid Cali, who was gunned down last month after a fight at a pool party in Granada Hills.

Kenny Birdine, 19, was charged with murdering Kid Cali, whose real name was Justin Lishey, as well as with using a firearm to cause great bodily injury and committing a crime that was gang-related.

According to arrest records, Birdine was initially taken into custody Saturday on suspicion of possessing a loaded firearm. He is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday.

Cali, who once had a recording contract with an NFL player’s label, was fatally shot Aug. 20. Two other men were wounded. The shooting occurred at a large home that had been rented for the “Millions of Models Mansion Pool Party,” which was heavily promoted on social media.


Police say the presence of numerous security cameras on the mansion grounds aided the investigation.

Dorthea Devilla, a friend of the rapper, said she she was standing just a few feet away when the shooting occurred. She said that she didn’t see the gun but that a man approached Cali and tried to shake his hand and the recording artist declined.

“We heard shots and everyone ran,” she said. “He was talking, with a gunshot wound in his shoulder, his back and hand, and I tried to keep him awake,” she said.

Devilla said Cali’s injuries didn’t seem life-threatening when he arrived at the hospital. But doctors found more gunshot wounds and discovered internal bleeding and he quickly became critical, she said.


Although hundreds of people attended the party, many witnesses fled the mansion after the shots were fired and before police arrived.

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