Who shot 50 Cent 9 times?

In 2000, rapper 50 Cent was shot 9 times in Queens, New York in an incident that nearly took his life. 50 Cent, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, was targeted by an unknown assailant while sitting in a car outside his grandmother’s house. The shooting left him with severe injuries that required him to use a walker for several weeks and went on to define his public image and early music career.

The Shooting

On May 24, 2000, 50 Cent was ambushed by an unknown gunman while he sat in a car with his friend. He was shot 9 times at close range, being hit in the hand, arm, hip, both legs, chest and face. 50 Cent recently recalled the incident, saying “It happens so fast; you don’t even get a chance to shoot back…I was scared the whole time.”

50 Cent was struck by 9 bullets from a 9mm handgun. A bullet hit his right thumb, blowing it off. Another bullet went through his left cheek, lodging in his gums and knocking out some teeth. He was shot in the right leg, hip, chest and left forearm. One of the most serious injuries was a shot to his left leg that shattered his femur, leaving the bone sticking out of his jeans.

After being shot, 50 Cent fell to the ground but was still conscious. The gunman approached his body and fired more shots before fleeing the scene. Police arrived to find 50 Cent lying in a pool of his own blood on the sidewalk. He was rushed to the hospital in critical condition and underwent emergency surgery.


The gunshot wounds left 50 Cent critically injured. The most serious injury was the shattered femur in his left leg. Doctors implanted a metal rod to stabilize the bone during his initial surgery. However, the rod did not hold up and his leg required further surgeries and treatments.

50 Cent also suffered nerve damage in his left cheek from the bullet that became lodged in his gum line. He has lost some feeling and control of the left side of his face as a result. He initially had difficulty speaking and smiling due to the facial wounds.

His hand was also seriously damaged, with the loss of his right thumb and limited use for a period of time. While the wounds eventually healed, 50 Cent still has bullet fragments lodged in his body that cannot be removed.

Aftermath and Recovery

Following the shooting, 50 Cent spent several weeks in the hospital and went through physical therapy to recover from his injuries. His left leg was so severely damaged that he had to use a walker or cane for many weeks. It took almost five months before he was able to walk again normally.

The injuries were both physical and psychological. In addition to the nerve damage in his face, 50 Cent suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder relating to the traumatic shooting. However, he was determined to continuing pursuing his passion for rapping.

While still in the hospital, 50 Cent was signed to Columbia Records. However, he was dropped from the label soon after due to the perception he would not be able to return to music because of the shooting. This motivated 50 Cent even more to recover and restart his rap career.

Recovery Timeline

  • May 2000 – 50 Cent is shot 9 times in Queens, New York
  • May – July 2000 – Undergoes multiple surgeries and weeks in hospital
  • July 2000 – Begins physical therapy, using walker/cane to move
  • Fall 2000 – Signs deal with Columbia Records
  • December 2000 – Is dropped from Columbia Records
  • March 2001 – Walking without limping
  • September 2001 – Releases his breakthrough mixtape Guess Who’s Back?

Despite initial doubts, 50 Cent made a remarkable recovery, teaching himself to rap again and regaining his signature voice. Within a year he was walking without a limp and by September 2001 he released his acclaimed mixtape Guess Who’s Back?. The shooting built his reputation and fueled his early success.


50 Cent was intentionally targeted in the shooting, but the identity of the shooter remains unknown to this day. However, police investigated two prime suspects:

Darryl “Hommo” Baum

Darryl “Hommo” Baum was a member of the Brooklyn drug crew run by Kenneth “Supreme” McGriff. 50 Cent had a falling out with McGriff after releasing the song “Ghetto Qu’ran” which exposed details about the crew’s criminal activities. Baum is believed to have been sent to kill 50 Cent as retaliation.

Baum was killed only three weeks after 50 Cent’s shooting. He was shot while sitting in a car, similar circumstances to 50 Cent’s ambush. This death led investigators to believe he was the likely shooter who had been murdered to prevent him from revealing the plot against 50 Cent.

Dexter Isaac

The other suspect was an affiliate of McGriff’s crew named Dexter Isaac. In 2011, Isaac confessed to shooting 50 Cent and claimed it was on orders from McGriff.

According to Isaac, McGriff sent him to 50 Cent’s grandmother’s house where he waited outside in his car. When he saw 50 Cent approaching, he got out and opened fire at close range before speeding off.

Isaac’s confession came after McGriff was already in prison serving a life sentence. Police had not been able to gather enough evidence on Isaac at the time of the shooting, allowing him to avoid charges until his 2011 confession.


50 Cent had been building his rap career in the late 1990s, recording tracks calling out real-life drug dealers in New York including Kenneth McGriff’s crew. His track “Ghetto Qu’ran” specifically used real names of criminals which angered McGriff.

McGriff had a reputation as a ruthless and dangerous drug kingpin in Queens and Brooklyn. He did not take lightly to 50 Cent exposing his crew’s activities in his music. Retaliating against the rapper was meant to send a message that there were consequences for crossing McGriff.

The shooting was seen as an attempt to take out 50 Cent as he was first gaining notoriety. If McGriff ordered the hit, some viewed it as an effort to derail the rapper’s career before it could take off.

Prior Disputes

In addition to the song lyrics, there were prior run-ins between 50 Cent and McGriff’s crew. The trouble began when 50 Cent released songs on mixtapes that accused McGriff of being a government informant, infuriating the drug lord.

50 Cent also got into a dispute with McGriff’s son in which the rapper claimed he had to physically defend himself. This led McGriff to reportedly put a $50,000 bounty on 50 Cent, wanting to see him dead or beaten up badly.

The shooting came just months after this falling out. McGriff felt 50 Cent had disrespected him and was intent on retaliating violently. He allegedly followed through by sending gunmen after the rapper.


No one was ever prosecuted for the 2000 shooting of 50 Cent in part due to a lack of cooperation from witnesses. 50 Cent himself did not name any suspects to the police.

It is believed he did not want to be seen as “snitching” by naming who may have been behind the shooting. Naming suspects could also have put 50 Cent and his family at risk for further retaliation.

50 Cent took his own approach to getting back at who he suspected was behind the shooting – getting more famous. The best revenge was having a hugely successful rap career despite the attempt on his life.

Success After Shooting

Getting shot 9 times did not stop 50 Cent from rising to become one of the biggest rappers on the planet. After signing with Eminem and Dr. Dre’s label, he exploded onto the rap scene with his 2003 debut album Get Rich or Die Tryin’ featuring the hit “In Da Club”.

50 Cent went on to sell over 30 million albums worldwide and won a Grammy Award. Rather than letting the shooting finish off his music career, he used it as inspiration to write more songs and prove he couldn’t be taken down easily.

He became known for his bulletproof vest and tough gun-slinging persona. But behind this image, the shooting remained a life-changing experience for him. It serves as a reminder of his own mortality and how lucky he is to still be alive after taking 9 bullets.


The 2000 shooting that nearly killed 50 Cent remains a pivotal moment in hip hop history. While the identity of the shooter was never definitively proven, evidence points to it being retaliation from a Brooklyn drug kingpin 50 Cent called out in his lyrics.

Surviving 9 gunshot wounds at close range seemed improbable, but 50 Cent was determined to not let the violent ambush end his rap dreams. He recovered both physically and mentally to achieve tremendous success in music after beating the odds.

But the scars from being shot 9 times understandably stay with 50 Cent. The shooting is an inescapable part of his life story and music and reinforced his reputation as a survivor and a fighter.

Leave a Comment