Robert Maraj, the 64-year-old father of Nicki Minaj, has passed away after police say he was killed in a hit-and-run incident in Long Island, New York.
As reported by TMZ on Sunday, Nassau County Police say Robert was walking in the street between Roslyn Road and Raff Avenue in Mineola on Friday evening around 6 p.m. EST when he was hit by a vehicle heading northbound.
Authorities say the driver then fled the scene.
Robert was transported to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead Saturday.
A rep for Nicki later confirmed her father’s passing to outlets such as TMZ, People, and the New York Times.
Unfortunately, witnesses were unable to give authorities a description of the suspect, whose identity — as of this writing — remains unknown.
On Sunday, CBS New York spoke to neighbor who lives right in front of where the crash happened.
“We just saw a jacket ripped open, cut open, trying to make sure the man had a pulse,” the neighbor said. “All I hoped for was the person to have a pulse and survive. I’m speechless. I don’t know what to say.”
In a 2010 interview with Rolling Stone, Nicki said she “always felt like being rich would cure everything,” as it would allow her to take care of her mother so they could leave her father.
“I was disappointed in my father,” she said. “I was afraid, very afraid, that something would happen to my mother. I had nightmares about it.”
In a 2015 interview with the New York Times, Nicki — who was born Onika Tanya Maraj in Trinidad and was raised in the New York City borough of Queens — was asked if she was abused by her father.
“No. He was just abusive,” she said. “I would always hear him yelling and cursing, always. And it made me feel it was the way to interact, because that’s how I saw him interacting.’’
The Nassau County Police Department said its Homicide Squad is investigating the incident. They are asking for more witnesses to the fatal crash to come forward.