Spokane Police: Rap battle ends in man’s death

A Spokane house party turned deadly when two men got into an argument over a rap battle on Sunday.

Spokane Police are now investigating the death of 37-year-old Robert Ellison.

Police initially responded to reports of an assault at a home located at 2318 E. Boone, shortly after 2 a.m.

Inside, they found Ellison on the floor. He was pronounced dead as soon as paramedics arrived.

Ellison’s niece, who lives at the home, told police she and her boyfriend were throwing a work party.

Ellison was the first to arrive, she said, and they both started drinking long before the party started.

Later on, Ellison’s niece told police she became intoxicated and went to bed, but later woke to two men at her bedroom door.

One of the men, whom she has known for a couple years, apologized to her for an argument he had gotten into with her uncle, then left.

Detectives later interviewed her boyfriend, who told police Ellison was competing in a rap battle with one of the men when it escalated into an argument.

The boyfriend said Ellison punched the other man, who then punched Ellison. He said Ellison then fell to the floor, hitting his head on the way down, according to court documents.

Police said, at this time, they believe Ellison died because of the altercation.

Ellison’s niece told 4 News Now her uncle was a father of four and that he struggled with addiction in the past, but was getting back on his feet. She said her uncle did have an anger problem, but was not a violent person. She believes something provoked him.

No arrests have been made at this time, but police listed potential suspects.

The investigation is ongoing.