JONATHAN LANDRUM Jr. and JUAN A. LOZANO
HOUSTON (AP) – The fatal shooting of rapper Takeoff prompted Houston police to ask for public help in identifying who opened fire outside the bowling alley Tuesday Tuesday, killing 28-year-old Grammy nominee trio Migos and injuring two other people.
Kirsnick Khari Ball, aka Takeoff – a third of the group along with Quavo and Offset – was shot at around 2:30 a.m. An argument broke out among a group of 40 people who were leaving a private party at a Houston bowling alley, police said.
Police Chief Troy Finner said Takeoff was “well respected” and that investigators were looking for any information that would help them identify the shooters. He said most people escaped after the shooting started and asked anyone who knew or had a video about what happened.
“I have no reason to believe he was involved in something criminal then,” Finner said of Takeoff. He said that at least two people were fired with a firearm and two other people who were hit had injuries that were not life-threatening. They were taken to hospitals in private cars.
“Let me just ask… anyone who has information on shooters or shooters to pass this information on to HPD and let us sort this out,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon. “Let’s do this family justice.”
Police responded to reports of the shooting at 810 Billiards & Bowling, which is located in a three-story shopping complex in downtown Houston that includes upscale restaurants, the House of Blues, and is adjacent to the Four Seasons Hotel. Takeoff was pronounced dead at the scene. An AP reporter observed the body being loaded into a medical examiner van around 10 a.m., more than seven hours after the shooting.
The guards who were in the area heard the shooting but did not see who did it, a police spokesman said.
Media representatives at the scene on Tuesday morning were kept across the street, which was otherwise blocked to the public. A spokesman for 810 Billiards & Bowling said the shooting took place after the aisle was closed and said the company was working with investigators.
Several fans gathered across the street from the bowling alley. Isaiah Lopez, 24, said he ran from his home in the Houston suburb of Humble after hearing that Takeoff had been killed.
“He was one of our favorites, mine and my brother’s. That’s all we’d like to hear, ”said Lopez, carrying a dozen roses he hoped to place near the shooting site. “As soon as my brother called me and said,” There is no take-off, I had to come here and pay my respects. “
Thomas Moreno, 30, lives about five minutes from the scene of the shooting. He said he met Takeoff at a party at a bar and restaurant in Houston in June and called him “a really nice guy.”
“I feel like this is just another good person who left too early,” Moreno said. “It happens every day, but it hurts even more when it’s someone so talented and so young.”
Takeoff was the youngest member of Migos, a rap trio in the Atlanta suburb that also featured his uncle Quavo and cousin Offset. They first broke with the big hit “Versace” in 2013.
The group had four Top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, although Takeoff did not make it to their multi-week hit “Bad and Boujee” starring Lil Uzi Verta. They have released a trilogy of albums titled “Culture”, “Culture II” and “Culture III”, with the first two albums reaching number one on the Billboard 200 album chart. They also won the 2018 ASCAP Vanguard Award for their success in streaming with multi-platinum songs. such as “Motorsport (starring Cardi B and Nicki Minaj)”, “Stir Fry” and “Walk It Talk It”.
The trio also played a fictional version of themselves in an episode of the popular TV show “Atlanta,” but the group was not currently together.
Offset, who is married to Cardi B, released a solo album in 2019, while Takeoff and Quavo released their joint album “Only Built for Infinity Links” last month. Quavo posted links to his and Takeoff’s Halloween-themed “Messy” video on Monday, as well as a video of him and his friends driving around Houston on his Instagram.
Landrum checked in from Los Angeles. Associated Press writer Jill Bleed of Little Rock, Arkansas and Jake Bleiberg, Dallas contributed to this report.
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