Houston police urge witnesses to help in fatal shooting of Migos rapper Takeoff
Houston police chief Troy Finner has said he has received many calls praising Takeoff as a “great young man” as he confirmed the Migos rapper was shot dead at the age of 28.
During a press conference streamed online on Tuesday evening, Mr Finner said the US hip hop artist, real name Kirsnick Khari Ball, was pronounced dead at the scene outside a Houston bowling alley earlier today.
He added that no arrests had been made yet but called on witnesses to come forward with information.
After detailing the tragic event, Mr Finner said: “Sometimes the hip hop community gets a bad name and I know, evident from this city and people who I have a personal relationship with, a lot of great people in our hip hop community and I respect them.
“But back to Takeoff. I got many calls from Houston and outside of Houston, and everyone spoke of what a great young man this is, how peaceful he is, what a great artist.
“And I’m calling up on everybody, hip hop artists in Houston and around the nation, we got to police ourselves.
“It is so many talented individuals, men and women in that community, who again I love and I respect, and we all need to stand together and make sure nobody tears down that industry.”
He added that he does not want to speculate on whether Takeoff was the intended target but noted: “Based on what people say about him, he’s well respected, non-violent.
“I would not expect him to be involved but I do want to wait on the investigation but we have no reason to believe that he was involved in anything criminal at the time, just as people describe him as very peaceful, loving, great entertainer.”
During the press conference, Houston’s Mayor Sylvester Turner also offered his condolences to Takeoff’s family and friends and said he plans to continue the conversation about gun violence in the city.
“We have too many young men of colour that are being injured or killed and their future is cut off and family members and friends are left to mourn,” he said.
“This does not have to be our reality and it need not be our future. And so as it relates to this particular incident, what I would say to the people in this city and even beyond, we will solve this crime.
“Let us bring the person or persons to justice, and we will, and then we will continue to move to make our city a safer city.”
Following the news, rap stars including Dave, Kid Cudi, Khalid and Ja Rule have paid tribute to Takeoff, who was part of the Atlanta-based group alongside his uncle Quavo and cousin Offset.
Dave posted a photo of him with Takeoff to his Instagram story, writing: “My brother… days we spent together are priceless” and sent his prayers to his family.
Rapper Ja Rule wrote on Twitter: “Rip Takeoff… this shit has to STOP… sending love to friends and family”.
Meanwhile Kid Cudi and Khalid both simply said on Twitter: “RIP Takeoff”
British athlete Chris Eubank Jr also paid his respects on Twitter, writing: “I remember @1YoungTakeoff being a very down to earth, cool dude.
“Cant believe I’m having to say this again about another young black star being killed for no reason, something really has to change in the industry, it’s sickening how easy & often people are dying. RIP Takeoff.”
Fellow US boxer Jake Paul also took to Twitter to call for “unity” and the end to “senseless killings”.
Reality star Khloe Kardashian said: “This is so sad. Wow! over what?? May God cover everyone who is in pain. These senseless acts have got to end. So so sad”, in her tribute.
Jamaican rapper Sean Paul, who featured vocals from American hip hop group Migos on his track Body, also paid tribute on Instagram with a picture saying rest in peace.
Rapper Jay Gerard Bradley, known professionally as Almighty Jay, also wrote on Instagram: “F*** bro. I love you gang. I just talked to you.”
British rapper AJ Tracey added on Twitter: “not takeoff! RIP”.
Migos first hit rose to fame in 2013 with the viral single Versace and went on to have a number of hit tracks including Grammy-nominated Bad And Boujee, Motorsport and Stir Fry.
The band also starred, playing a fictional version of themselves, on American comedy-drama television series Atlanta created by Donald Glover.
Takeoff and Quavo released a collaboration album, Only Built for Infinity Links, in October.
Offset, who is married to Cardi B, released solo album Father Of 4 in 2019.
Police officers said they were called at approximately 2.34am local time (07:34 GMT) about a shooting outside Billiards and Bowling Alley in Houston where a private party of around 40 including Takeoff had been taking place.
Takeoff was found dead at the scene and two other individuals, a 23-year-old male and a 24-year-old female, were taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.