Fans of the Philadelphia rapper Beanie Sigel received a scare this week when rumors of his death from a gunshot wound he sustained three weeks ago swirled online.
But it was all just a hoax.
"He's not dead," Pleasantville, N.J., Police Capt. Sean Riggin said Friday, repeating it more than once. Detectives, he said, interviewed Sigel on Christmas Eve, the first time they had spoken to him since the Dec. 5 shooting.
Riggin declined to say what was discussed.
The rumors of Sigel's death appear to have started on a website called NahaDaily.com. It cited an Instagram post from Sigel's mother and said he died at 10 a.m. Tuesday.
"Staying true to his gangsta nature, Beanie even said before taking his last breath," the website said, "that he didn't want any snakes at his funeral, so he expects only his mother to show up."
The rumors sent Twitter reeling. "R.I.P. Beanie Sigel," many users said. "#BeanieSigel please be alive. let this be a rumor," another said.
Sigel was shot at his brother-in-law's home in Pleasantville around 9:30 a.m. A bullet struck his abdomen and exited through his back, leaving him in critical condition at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center in Atlantic City.
Until recently, detectives were unable to speak to Sigel because he was breathing with the aid of a tube and ventilator. Hospital officials said his family had asked them not to release updated information on his condition.
Police have made no arrests in the case and say Sigel's family has been uncooperative. Several of his relatives are considered people of interest. They include Umar Salahuddin, 22, the brother-in-law, who told officers his car was stolen during the incident. It was later found on a nearby street with two bullet holes.
Sigel's sister-in-law, Kamilah Salahuddin, 33, is also a person of interest. A car that police chased after the shooting is registered to her. It is unclear who was driving it that day. A passenger, Ricky Childress, 31, of Atlantic City, jumped out of the moving Honda as police chased it. Detectives interviewed and released him but say he remains a person of interest.