WASHINGTON - One year ago, a D.C. rapper was gunned down at a cookout held at an apartment complex in Southeast. The murder was carried out just weeks after Antonio Leach released a controversial feud video. It is a video his parents and the police now believe may have led to his death.
The video was posted to YouTube last year in April and shows Leach in a Halloween mask holding pistols with extended clips. Rapping under the name of OG ManMan, Leach is recorded at the gravesite of a rival’s dead friend setting a photograph on fire and threatening violence in an ongoing feud.
Some believe the video went too far.
"This is real hard,” said Leach’s mother, Lucille. “This is hard. Every day I think of my son. Every day.”
Lucille Leach and Anthony Jones, Antonio’s father, said they knew about the video and were worried it would lead to trouble.
"I was afraid, but I let him know I was afraid, and then that is when he promised me, ‘Ma, I'm going to stop because they had started going back and forth – they started it.'”
Leach's parents said the feud began when their son’s rival called him a snitch.
"I think because of what he felt, they were saying he was a snitch, he felt threatened even by the general public, and I think he felt in his heart he had to retaliate that way,” said Jones.
D.C. police were back in the neighborhood on Monday handing out flyers – hoping to generate new leads in the case.
On the night he was killed, Antonio Leach had just gotten a phone call from someone who wanted him to come over to a cookout that was taking place behind the apartments on F Street in Southeast D.C. There were a number of people here, but it is unclear exactly how many when someone suddenly approached with a handgun and opened fire, hitting Leach multiple times.
"I knew he was on the phone and he left back out, and when he reached for the door, I said, ‘Son, where are you going?’ He said, ‘Dad, I'll be back in a minute,’” his father recalled.
A year after Leach’s murder, detectives have been unable to develop any suspects. This is an area of the city where Leach's parents know the code of the streets is strong.
"The people are afraid to tell anything because they end up not having anywhere to go or the person might come after them,” said the victim’s mother.
But Lucille Leach is begging for help. She wants justice for her son.
"It would mean a whole lot,” she said. “It would help my heart and my mind and my soul to know that somebody is out here that really cares for us.”
On YouTube, what is known as OG ManMan’s diss video has been viewed more than 1.7 million times.
For the person who can tip the police to help find Leach’s killer, there is a $25,000 reward on the table.