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Suspects in murder of Memphis rapper caught along I-70

The Putnam County Sheriff's Department says on Tuesday, deputies collaborated with the United States Marshals Service, Indiana State Police and Terre Haute Police in the apprehension of two fugitives passing through the county.


Both fugitives were wanted out of Memphis, Tennessee in connection with the murder of rapper Adolph "Young Dolph" Robert Thornton Jr. Young Dolph was gunned down by two assailants as he was standing inside the Makeda’s Homemade Cookies store in Memphis, Tennessee on November 17, 2021.


Putnam County's Major Dwight Simmons received a phone call from the U.S. Marshals Service requesting assistance in locating two fugitives.They had received credible information that the fugitives were passing through Putnam County Tuesday on I-70 traveling westbound.


Major Simmons, Detective Matt Biggs and Corporal Scott Ducker immediately responded to the area to search for the fugitives. Working alongside other agencies they were able to locate the two fugitives stopped at the Pilot Gas Station at the SR 59 exit in Clay County. Deputies, troopers and marshals surrounded the area and waited until both fugitives could be confirmed. In a coordinated effort, all units rapidly descended upon the gas station and took both fugitives into custody without incident.


Justin Johnson, 23, is wanted for the 1st degree murder of Young Dolph.

Shundale Barnett, 27, is wanted on multiple outstanding warrants and also charged as an accessory to the murder of Young Dolph.


Both individuals are to be transferred back to Memphis, Tennessee.