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Beanie blasted by gunfire in Jersey

The longtime rapper was shot in Pleasantville after dropping his kids off at school.

TROUBLE HAS once again found star-crossed rapper Beanie Sigel.

The 40-year-old was shot and critically injured yesterday morning in Pleasantville, N.J.

A bullet hit Sigel's abdomen and exited through his back, said Pleasantville Chief Jose Ruiz. The rapper, whose real name is Dwight Grant, was found about 9:25 a.m. inside a home on Spruce Avenue near Somerset.

Ruiz said investigators were waiting to question Sigel about the shooting, which unfolded following an altercation of some kind.

Another injured man found at the home refused medical treatment, and was believed to be a friend or relative of Sigel's, Ruiz said.

"He hasn't offered anything," Ruiz said, "and we're waiting for Mr. Sigel to be able to speak to us."

Investigators found ammunition and bullet casings outside the home.

Ruiz said investigators didn't have a suspect.

Sigel's longtime lawyer, Fortunato "Fred" Perri Jr., said the rapper lives in Pleasantville, and was shot after he returned home from dropping his kids off at school.

"From what I've heard, he was not the intended target," Perri said.

Sigel had been eyeing a return to the music business, and was set to take part in an upcoming concert, he said.

"He's certainly matured from some of the things that he was involved with when he was much younger," Perri said.

"I'm a bit heartbroken. He seemed like he was about to start moving his life in the right direction."

Photos on Sigel's Instagram account this week showed the rapper recording in a small sound studio and wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet.

Sigel, who once started his own clothing line called "State Property," has a long, complicated history of brushes with the law.

In 2003, the rapper was charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault after allegedly firing six shots at a nightclub door. Two people were injured. He was later acquitted.

In 2005, he served 10 months in prison on weapons counts.

Sigel was shot in the shoulder a block away from his boyhood home in South Philly in 2006 by four men who Sigel said followed him and then robbed him of $75,000 worth of jewelry and $3,000 in cash.

He managed to drive himself to the hospital. Police expressed doubts publicly about his description of how and where the shooting unfolded.

In 2007, Sigel was arrested for keeping a rental car from a Southwest Philly Payless Car Rental for more than a month. He had rented the vehicle even though he'd had an expired license at the time.

Sigel moved to a halfway house in August after serving a two-year federal prison term for tax evasion. He had been scheduled to be released from the halfway house tomorrow.

Two weeks before he was scheduled to report to the federal prison - and hours after the release of his sixth album, "This Time" - Sigel was arrested on drug and gun charges during a traffic stop on I-95 in Delaware County. He later pleaded guilty to possessing a controlled substance.

- Inquirer staff writer

Michael Boren and

staff writer Sam Wood

contributed to this report.