What year did Lil Reese Get shot?

Lil Reese, a Chicago-based rapper, is no stranger to gun violence. Over the course of his career, Lil Reese has been shot on multiple occasions in his hometown of Chicago, which has struggled with high rates of gun violence for decades.

The First Shooting – November 2011

The first reported shooting incident involving Lil Reese occurred on November 23, 2011 in Chicago’s South Side. Details around this initial shooting remain murky, but it is believed that Lil Reese, whose real name is Tavares Taylor, was shot in the arm that day. He was hospitalized for his injuries but survived the shooting.

At the time, Lil Reese was an up-and-coming drill rapper associated with Chief Keef. Drill music originated in Chicago and was known for its gritty lyrics about street violence. Given the content of his songs, Lil Reese’s shooting likely stemmed from some type of street or gang dispute.

Shot Again in February 2012

Just a few months after his first shooting, Lil Reese was targeted once again on February 10, 2012. The 20-year-old rapper was shot in the neck while sitting in a car near Chicago’s Wentworth Gardens housing projects.

Authorities reported that a gunman approached the vehicle Lil Reese was in and opened fire. Despite the clear attempt on his life, the “Traffic” rapper survived this second shooting as well.

Like the first incident, details surrounding this attack remain unknown. Chicago police did not have a motive or any suspects. Given his gang ties and growing status as a drill artist, it is likely that Lil Reese was shot by a rival gang member.

Shot in the Eye – August 2021

Lil Reese would manage to avoid any shootings for over nine years until he was targeted once again on August 21, 2021 in a Chicago suburb. This time, the rapper sustained a serious injury when he was shot in the eye.

The shooting occurred at approximately 1:50AM outside of a parking garage in Country Club Hills, IL. Surveillance footage captured a car pulling up before two masked men jumped out and began shooting at Lil Reese and two other men he was with.

A bullet struck Lil Reese in his right eye, leaving the orbital bone just above his eye completely shattered. He was quickly transported to a local hospital where he underwent emergency surgery to save his eye and repair the broken bone.

In the months following, Lil Reese gave updates about his long recovery process including getting a prosthetic eye. He revealed just how close he came to losing his eye and even his life from the shooting.

Investigators once again did not establish a motive or any suspects behind the shooting. But Lil Reese’s long history of street ties and rap feuds point to an act of violence by a rival.

Most Recent Shooting – July 2022

Less than a year after nearly losing his eye, Lil Reese was targeted in yet another shooting on July 17, 2022 in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. The rapper was shot outside of a parking garage after two cars boxed in the SUV he was riding in.

Gunmen emerged from the cars and opened fire at Lil Reese’s vehicle. Bullets grazed his face and the back of his head, but luckily did not directly hit his face or forehead. The shooting happened near busy restaurants with patrons present.

Lil Reese managed to avoid any serious injuries from the shooting. He was treated at a hospital and discharged later the same day. Police were unable to apprehend the shooters and did not publicly comment on suspects or motives.

Why Does Lil Reese Keep Getting Shot At?

The repeated shootings targeting Lil Reese beg the question – why does the rapper keep getting shot at? There are several contributing factors:

  • Gang Ties – Lil Reese has been associated with Chicago street gangs like the Black Disciples throughout his career. Disputes with rival gangs likely motivate some of the attacks.
  • Rap Feuds – Lil Reese has engaged in public feuds with fellow artists like Chief Keef. The personal tension between rappers can boil over into real-world violence.
  • Retaliation – Shootings are often part of back-and-forth cycles of retaliation. Lil Reese getting shot may be an act of revenge.
  • Mistaken Identity – There is a chance Lil Reese could be misidentified and shot at based on his connections.
  • Robbery Attempts – Wealthy rappers are targets for robbery which could explain some shootings.

Ultimately, the clear motive behind every one of Lil Reese’s shootings is unknown to the public. But his lifelong associations with Chicago’s notoriously violent gang culture certainly contribute to the pattern of attacks.

Impact on Lil Reese’s Career

The multiple shootings have had tangible impacts on Lil Reese and his rap career. Some of the effects include:

  • Missed Shows & Projects – Shootings and recovery periods force Lil Reese to cancel shows and delay releasing music.
  • Public Interest Wanes – Fans often move on during prolonged absences by the rapper.
  • PTSD – Surviving shootings can cause PTSD symptoms like paranoia, disruptive Lil Reese’s personal life.
  • Lyrical Content – Near-death experiences give Lil Reese more traumatic events to reference in lyrics.
  • Street Credibility – Avoiding murder attempts bolsters his reputation as a real street figure.

In the aftermath of each shooting, Lil Reese takes a break from releasing music and doing shows. But he always returns ready to capitalize on his growing legend as a survivor of Chicago’s traumatic street wars.

Reese Tries to Reassure Fans

When news breaks that Lil Reese has been shot again, fans immediately flood social media with reactions ranging from relief that he survived, to despair that he keeps getting targeted. Each time, Lil Reese goes on social media to reassure fans.

In July 2022 after surviving being grazed in the face and head in River North, the rapper tweeted “I’m good thanks for checking on me.” He let fans know he was ok and would be back soon with more music.

Reese relies on downplaying the shootings as minor setbacks and promising new songs soon. This helps keep fans engaged despite the long gaps between releases stemming from recovery.


Lil Reese’s real name, Tavares Taylor, has been critically wounded in shootings at least 4 times over his rap career. He was first shot in late 2011, starting an unfortunate pattern of attacks in his hometown of Chicago likely tied to street or rap beefs.

Miraculously, despite being shot in the arm, neck, eye socket, face, and head, Lil Reese has managed to survive every shooting. He always eventually returns to music after taking time to recover from his injuries.

The cause behind each individual attack is unknown to the public. But Lil Reese’s lifelong connections to Chicago’s violent gang culture, feuds with other rappers, and desire to portray a “real” street image make him a perpetual target.

Every new Lil Reese shooting sparks reactions from fans who hope he will eventually find a way out of Chicago’s deadly cycle of gang violence and retaliation.

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