Two Men Arrested For Killing T.I.'s Friend

Two men have been indicted on murder and assault charges for the May 2006 slaying of T.I.’s childhood friend Philant Johnson, in Cincinnati, Ohio.

According to Cincinnati’s WLWT Channel 5, police arrested Pardon Thomas, 40 and Hosea Thomas, 34 for shooting into the rapper’s van after a performance at Bogart’s nightclub.

T.I. was at an after party at Club Ritz, when someone was angered after money was thrown into the crowd, during Yung Joc’s set.

The rapper left the nightclub around 3:30 am, but was followed by the Thomas’, who opened fire on T.I.’s van on I-75, killing Johnson and injuring three other occupants in the van.

Johnson, who was a friend of T.I. since pre-school, was just 26-years-old at the time of his death.

Johnson was an integral part of T.I.’s recording career as well, helping him creatively with album concepts and other areas of his recording career.

When T.I. ran into numerous legal problems, before Johnson’s death, he encouraged the rapper to aggressively pursue his recording career.

“I wasn't close, I did quit [rapping],” T.I. told shortly after Johnson’s tragic death. “I was out. I was done completely. I didn't want to do it no more. I had already made my mind up. Just because I felt the risks were too great and not in my favor. With music... you know, I have to be in and out of these clubs and different places. I'm taking more of a risk and not earning as much money. It didn't make any sense to me, it really didn't. But then you know what, Phil came to me and said, 'If you quit, I'll kill you... you think we did all this work for you just to turn around and say you don't want to do it anymore?'"

T.I. gave the eulogy at Johnson’s funeral, which took place May 8, 2006 at Jackson Memorial Baptist Church in Atlanta.