Nov 1 (Reuters) – Takeoff, a member of influential rap group Migos, was shot and killed at a party at a Houston bowling alley early on Tuesday.
Takeoff, 28, real name Kirshnik Khari Ball, was found dead at the scene around 2:40 a.m. (0640 GMT), police said. Two others, a man and a woman in their 20s, were also shot but were expected to recover.
The rapper was a key member of the Atlanta-based hip hop trio, which had a string of chart-topping hits, including “Bad and Boujee” with rapper Lil Uzi Vert, “MotorSport” and “Walk It Talk It.”
“Takeoff was not only a brilliant musical artist with unlimited talent, but also a uniquely kind and gentle soul,” said his attorney Drew Findling.
At least 40 people were at the party when the shooting happened, Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said during a briefing. He asked the witnesses to call the police with information.
“Every brother and sister in the neighborhood, we’re asking you to step in” for justice, Finner said.
The chief said police had no reason to believe Takeoff was involved in criminal activity, but said the shooting was not a random occurrence.
“At least two people were pressing triggers.” says Finner. “Take my word for it, we’ll find out who’s responsible.”
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner also asked witnesses to come forward. “We intend to solve this problem,” he said. “Too many young black men are being killed. Pray for the family.”
A second Migos member – Quavo, 31, real name Quavious Keyate Marshall – was at the party but was unharmed, Rolling Stone reported. A third member, Takeoff’s cousin Offset, real name Kiari Kendrell Cephus, was not there.
Police have not offered a reason for the shooting other than to say there was an argument at the party.
Grief over the death of Atlanta native Takeoff flooded the internet within hours of the first reports.
“Dead on the dice. We are better than this. Black men deserve to grow old,” Mayor Khalid Kamau of South Fulton, an Atlanta suburb, wrote on Twitter.
Takeoff is the latest rap artist to be killed by gun violence in recent years, following Nipsey Hussle, Pop Smoke and King Von.
In 2019, Hussle, real name Ermias Joseph Asghedom, was shot dead outside his South Los Angeles store. Hu$$le, as his professional name was stylized, was known for his “Bullets Ain’t Got No Name” series.
New York rapper Pop Smoke was gunned down during a home invasion in Hollywood Hills, California in 2020. His real name was Bashar Barakah Jackson and he was known for ‘Meet the Woo 2’.
Dayvon Daquan Bennett, known professionally as King Von, was fatally shot in 2020 outside an Atlanta hookah lounge after an argument.
Reporting by Rich McKay; Editing by Frank McGurty, Angus MacSwan, Bill Berkrot and Jonathan Oatis
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