Following the shooting death of rapper and Grammy-nominated hip-hop artist Takeoff outside a Houston bowling alley on Tuesday, police are searching for one or more suspects.
Police say Takeoff, real name Kirshnik Khari Ball, was found dead after a fight broke out Billiards & Bowling Houston between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. The rapper, 28, was struck in the head. The incident prompted the mayor, a Democrat, to address violence among minorities in the city directly.
“There are too many young men of color that are killing young men of color,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner during a press conference. “And we do need to have that conversation. We do need to deal with it head-on.”
Police said around 40 people were present at the time of the shooting, and two guns went off during the incident. Two others were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries, reports the Associated Press. It’s unclear who fired the weapons, or whether Takeoff was the intended target, but the rapper was declared dead on-scene.
Turner asked that anyone with information on the shooting come forward so that the rapper’s family could have justice. He decried violence in the hip-hop community as well, but said he wasn’t looking to “demonize” anyone. He also blamed guns, claiming people no longer settle disputes with fist-fights because “everyone has access to guns.”
“But the good news in this city, what I can say, is that we are trending in the right direction,” he said.
Video obtained by TMZ shows Quavo — a fellow rapper and member of the rap trio Migos — along with Takeoff and many others arguing before shots are fired and the group scatters. Police say they are looking for two potential shooters.
Quavo, whose real name is Quavious Keyate Marshall, was not injured. Offset, the third member of the trio, whose real name is Kiari Kendrell Cephus, was not at the party.
The band rose to fame with the hit song “Versace” in 2013 and then topped charts again with the 2016 rap song “Bad and Boujee.” That song was later certified four times platinum by RIAA, though Takeoff is not credited on the song and can only be seen in the background of the music video.
Takeoff was accused of “sexual battery, assault, false imprisonment, gender violence and interference with civil rights” by an anonymous woman in August 2020. In April 2021, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s confirmed they would not be filing criminal charges due to lack of evidence.
Amanda Harding contributed to this report.