Bay Area hip-hop community shaken by slaying of 'The Jacka'

OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) -- With the fatal shooting in East Oakland that killed the East Bay rapper who called himself "The Jacka" hitting the Bay Area hip-hop community hard, KTVU spoke with fellow rapper and friend "Mistah Fab" Tuesday about the loss.

Tuesday night, 37-year-old Dominick Newton, who was better known by his stage name The Jacka, was being remembered as an accomplished rapper and a good man.

Stanley Cox – aka Mistah Fab – talked to KTVU about his friendship with Newton. Cox had been friends with Newton for 17 years and traveled the world with The Jacka.

"To me it's not even real, you know?" said Cox as he shook his head. "It hasn't even set in yet."

KTVU met with Cox outside a home in North Oakland. He was clearly devastated by Newton's death.

"He was always positive. Even in his darkest night, he always shed light," reminisced Cox. "And to me, that's what I'm going to remember more than anything."

Just after 8:15 p.m. Monday night, Newton was with friends in and around a van near 94th and MacArthur. At least one gunman opened fire at the group, hitting Newton in the head.

"Just in the house and heard gunshots," said witness Reggie Grant. "Came outside [and] he was laying down there. Tried to help him, until the police finally came."

Now there is a growing memorial for The Jacka at the scene.

"I've lost a lot of people, man; countless friends, several friends, associates," said Cox. "But this one go up there, you know? I haven't felt this hurt in a long time, since I lost my mother."

Newton had been part of the Bay Area hip-hop scene since the 90s, starting off with a group called Mob Figaz.

Rocky Rivera is a fellow artist and music journalist who became Newton's friend.

"He had so much love for different kinds of people from different walks of life," said Rivera.

Rivera became close with Newton as she covered the death of another Bay Area rapper, Mac Dre, who was killed in a still unsolved shooting in 2004.

"These are the kind of dangers that he grew up with for his entire life. People from his camp have been in and out of jail, and he's taken care of them. He is the caretaker," said Rivera. "So when something like this happens to someone we feel is untouchable, it rattles us to the core."

Cox added that the shooting is a direct result of the troubles that so many inner city youth face.

"All you know is darkness. All you know is a disdained feeling toward the rest of the world because no one else has ever cared," explained Mistah Fab.

His friends said, despite past troubles with the law, Newton truly cared.

Oakland police have made no arrests in the shooting. There is now a $20,000 reward being offered for information that leads to the gunman.