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'Please step up' | Houston police, mayor ask for public's help to find rapper TakeOff's killer

TakeOff and Quavo of the Atlanta-based rap trio were at a private party at the 810 Billiards and Bowling Alley prior to the deadly shooting, police said.

HOUSTON — Rapper TakeOff died Tuesday after he was shot outside of a bowling alley in downtown Houston, police confirmed. He was 28.

TakeOff, whose real name is Kirsnick Khari Ball, was part of Migos along with Quavo and Offset.

TakeOff and Quavo had just attended a private party, along with about 40 other people, when shots were fired outside the 810 Billiards and Bowling Alley. Police said the party ended at 1 a.m. but the group gathered outside the bowling alley for more than an hour after the party ended. 

At about 2:34 a.m., shots were fired and Takeoff was hit, dying just outside the doors of the bowling alley, police said during a press conference Tuesday afternoon.

Two other people, a 23-year-old man and a 24-year-old woman were shot, police said. They drove to nearby hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries. 

They have not been identified but police said they have spoken with them to help with the investigation.

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Police said the shooting stemmed from an argument. It's unknown if TakeOff was involved in the argument or if he was the intended target.

The group that gathered outside the bowling alley ran away after shots were fired and so far, no one has stepped up to help police identify the gunman. 

"I just want to say something to our city. Houston. And every brother and sister in the neighborhoods," Houston Police Department Chief Troy Finner said. "I'm calling you to action, to step up. There were 40 people at least at this event and people left possibly out of fear. 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. You will want somebody to step up, so please step up."

"As you have heard, this was a private party last night of about 40 people. In that group, somebody or the people know who the actual shooter or shooters were," said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. "Let me just ask, like it has already been asked, that anyone who has information on the shooter/shooters to provide that information to HPD and let us solve this situation."

Finner said at least two guns were involved in the shooting and he believes the gunman may have been in his 20s but doesn't want to speculate. 

"Bottom line, mark my word, and mark it, this great city, with our great citizens, with our great police department, we will find who's responsible for it," Finner said.

Watch the latest update from HPD Chief Finner and Mayor Turner below:

Who was Migos rapper TakeOff?

TakeOff was the youngest member of Migos, the rap trio from suburban Atlanta that also featured his uncle Quavo and cousin Offset.

He has been described not only as a great artist but a great man who was peaceful.

"Based on what people say about him, he is well respected, non-violent," Chief Finner said. "

Migos first broke through the music industry with the massive hit “Versace” in 2013. The song was remixed by Drake, heightening its popularity.

The group had four Top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, including one of their most successful songs “Bad and Boujee,” featuring Lil Uzi Vert. They put out a trilogy of albums called “Culture,” “Culture II” and “Culture III,” with the first two albums hitting No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album chart. They also earned an ASCAP Vanguard Award in 2018, for their streaming success with multiplatinum songs like “Motorsport (featuring Cardi B and Nicki Minaj),” “Stir Fry,” and “Walk It Talk It.”

The trio also played a fictional version of themselves on an episode of the hit TV show “Atlanta,” but the group wasn’t currently together.

Offset, who is married to Cardi B, released a solo album in 2019, while TakeOff and Quavo released a joint album “Only Built for Infinity Links” last month.

Fans mourn TakeOff

Isaiah Lopez, 24, said he rushed down from his home in Humble after hearing TakeOff had been killed.

“He was one of our favorites, mine and my brother’s. It’s all we would listen to,” Lopez said as he carried a dozen roses he hoped to place near the site of the shooting. “As soon as my brother called me and said, ‘TakeOff is gone,’ I had to come over here and pay my respects.”

Thomas Moreno, 30, who lives about five minutes away from the site of the shooting, said he had met TakeOff at an event at a Houston bar and restaurant in June and said he was “a real nice guy.”

“I feel it’s just another good person gone too soon,” Moreno said. “This happens every day but it hurts, even more, when it’s somebody so talented and so young.”

“I just got the address and came out to see and do a prayer for him and his soul, and for his family,” said fan “Pardi” who has been following Migos since he immigrated from Columbia several years ago. “He was the quiet one, he was the quietest Migo of all.”

“As a human, I came as a human to pay respects for him,” said Takeoff fan Marjorie Jimenez.

“We have a rapper die almost every other week,” said 97.9 the Boxx’s J-Mac who learned of Takeoff’s death overnight. “It’s getting worse.”

“I fell to my knees because something like this wasn’t supposed to happen,” said Houston fan Tatiana Battle. “Houston is one of those cities where you can come and enjoy yourself knowing that you shouldn’t be in fear of your life or danger, especially in an area like this on Greenstreet.” 

Houston violence

TakeOff's death shined a bright light on the recent gun violence in Houston, but Mayor Turner said the city is actually trending in the right direction when it comes to homicides.

"Houston is not the worst city. Far from. Every city in this country is facing issues, Houston Mayor Turner said. 'We have 46 fewer homicides this year than we had last year."

Turner said a conversation needs to be had about young men of color, between the ages of 16 and 30, who are using guns to solve their disagreements. 

"It's not just in the hip-hop community. And I just don't want to demonize this group. But it's across the board with this demographic where people are no longer resolving their disputes or arguments through a fistfight. But now everyone has access to guns so when there is a disagreement, people pull their guns out and start shooting," Turner said. 

Mayor Turner said the City of Houston has its One SafeHouston initiative in place to combat crime in the city and so far, the numbers in violent crime are almost down in every category in comparison to last year. But turner said one loss of life is one too many even with the numbers trending in the right direction.

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