Robbery at D.C. cannabis gifting shop in NW leaves D.C. rapper dead, suspects still at large


On Wednesday afternoon, a shooting occurred in Northwest D.C. at a I-71 gifting shop, Hotbox Uptown

According to the Metropolitan Police Department press release, two suspects brandished handguns and demanded property and money. The victims complied, but one of the suspects fired a shot striking one of the victims during the robbery. They then took money and property and fled the scene. 

41-year-old Philip Prendergast of Silver Spring was transported to the hospital where he later died. Another victim was not shot and survived the robbery. It is not confirmed that the victims were employees. 

Prendergast was a D.C. rapper know as Phil Da Phuture behind tracks such as “Stupid Dop Moves” and “Do What I Do.

The suspects stole $2,500 in cash and $1,900 in cannabis products, according to the incident report. MPD is offering a reward for any information that helps catch the suspects. The charges are murder I and robbery. 

This is one of three Hotbox locations in D.C., the others are in Georgetown and Shaw. The uptown location opened about a year ago. 

The shooting comes as the Alcohol Cannabis and Beverage regulatory agency begins to deliver warning letters to gifting shops that are still operating and have not applied to transition to the legal medical market. None of the Hotbox locations are listed as unlicensed applicants looking to transition to the legal market. 

ABCA was delivering warning letters to unlicensed establishments near the shooting on Wednesday. It is not known if the location was to receive a warning letter. Cannabis businesses in both the legal and gray market are targets for robbery due to federal law limiting their use of credit cards and banks.


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