HOUSTON (KXAN) — Police confirmed the rapper Takeoff, a member of the well-known Atlanta hip hop group Migos, died from a shooting in Houston early Tuesday morning.
The 28-year-old rapper, whose real name is Kirshnik Khari Ball, was in Texas alongside his uncle and rapper Quavo for Halloween. Police responded to the shooting outside a bowling alley around 2:40 a.m. Tuesday morning.
Police Chief Troy Finner told reporters during a news conference Tuesday afternoon that he spoke to Takeoff’s mother who flew to Houston after the deadly shooting.
“I want everybody to understand the pain, the suffering of a mother — very tough,” Finner said. “I told her, as we stand with any victim of violence or any homicide victim, their family, we stand with them in this city, in this police department.”
A homicide investigator said it appears the shooting happened after an argument outside the bowling alley in downtown Houston, where a large group of people gathered following a private event there. The officer said many fled after the shooting, and now police are asking them to come forward so that they can catch those responsible.
“I ask you one thing, and I want this to resonate with everybody: what if it was your brother? What if it was your son?” Finner said. “You would want somebody to step up, so please step up [and] get the information to us so that we can bring some closure to this family who’s hurting right now.”
The chief said police believe two guns may have been used during the shooting.
“We have no reason to believe [Takeoff] was involved in anything criminal at the time,” Finner said. “Just as people described him, [Takeoff was] a very peaceful, loving, great entertainer.”
Anyone with information is asked to call the Houston Police Department’s homicide tip line at 713-308-3600 or Houston Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.
Earlier Tuesday, TMZ reported the rappers were allegedly playing dice with a group of other people when a fight broke out and someone opened fire. The media outlet also reported Quavo was not injured.
“Officers said when they arrived at the scene, they located a large crowd and a man with a gunshot wound to the head or neck. The man was pronounced dead at the scene,” Houston Police told NBC affiliate KPRC.
According to KPRC, police confirmed Quavo and Takeoff were in attendance at the time of the shooting.
Police and local leaders pleaded with people not to resort to violence and called for change.
“I’m calling on everybody — our hip hop artists in Houston and around the nation — we’ve got to police ourselves,” Finner said. “There are so many talented individuals, men and women in that community who again I love and I respect. We all need to stand together and make sure nobody tears down that industry.”
“There are too many young men of color that are killing young men of color,” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said Tuesday. “It’s not just in the hip-hop community. I just don’t want to demonize this group, but it’s across the board with this demographic.”
Drew Findling, who worked as Takeoff’s attorney, released a statement Tuesday about the deadly shooting, the first official confirmation of the rapper’s death.
“Along with my firm, I am devastated by the tragic death of Kirshnik Ball, known to his fans as Takeoff,” Findling wrote. “Takeoff was not only a brilliant musical artist with unlimited talent but also a uniquely kind and gentle soul. He will be greatly missed now and always.”
Migos breakout smash hit was “Versace” in 2013, a song later featuring Drake. The rap trio went on to dominate the charts with other collaborators including Katy Perry, Lil Uzi Vert, Nicki Minaj, Jay-Z, Beyonce and Cardi B.