One of South Africa’s hottest rap artists, Kiernan Forbes, known as AKA, has been shot dead outside a restaurant in the southeastern city of Durban, his family said Saturday. The 35-year-old won multiple South African awards, was nominated several times for a Black Entertainment Television (BET) Award in the United States, and was once nominated for an MTV Europe Music Award. “It is with extreme sadness that we acknowledge the passing of our beloved son,” his parents Tony and Lynn Forbes said in a statement posted on AKA’s Twitter account. “Our son was loved, and he gave love in return.” He was gunned down on Friday night alongside another man while they were walking towards their car from a restaurant. “They were allegedly approached by two armed suspects who walked to them from across the street and shot the victims at close range,” police said in a statement. The motive of the shooting is unknown, and police are investigating. Shootings are common in South Africa, which has one of the world’s highest murder rates. Many people have licensed firearms for personal protection, yet there are many more illegal guns in circulation.