Houston Police Still Seeking Suspects In Murder Of Migos Rapper Takeoff: ‘Let’s Get This Family Justice’

Police said they have few drivers in the fatal shooting of rapper Takeoff outside a private party at a downtown Houston bowling alley.

Takeoff, whose off-stage name was Kirsnick Khari Ball, formed one-third of the Grammy-nominated trio Migos with his uncle Quavo and cousin Offset from suburban Atlanta. The 28-year-old rapper was killed early Tuesday when gunfire erupted and also wounded a man and a woman, according to Police Chief Troy Finer.

Takeoff, left, and Quavo of Migos arrive at the BET Awards in Los Angeles on June 27, 2021.

Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP File

Most of the 40 people attending the party at 810 Billiards & Bowling fled when the shots rang out, Finner said. That led police to ask people to come forward and give investigators statements and videos of what they saw and heard, even if anonymously, Mayor Sylvester Turner said.

At least two people used firearms, according to Finner. The two others who were hit by gunfire had non-life-threatening injuries and were taken to hospitals in private vehicles, he said.

“Let me just ask anyone who has information about the shooter or shooters to provide that information to HPD and let’s get this situation resolved,” Turner said at a news conference Tuesday. “Let’s bring justice to this family.”

Finner said Takeoff was “respectable” and “there was no reason to believe he was involved in anything criminal at the time.”

Migos’ record label, Quality Control, mourned Takeoff’s death in a statement posted on Instagram.

“Senseless violence and a stray bullet took another life from this world and we are devastated,” the statement said, although police did not say the shooting was a stray. “Respect his family and friends as we all continue to process this monumental loss.”

The bowling alley is located in a three-story Houston retail complex with high-end restaurants and a House of Blues, and is adjacent to a Four Seasons hotel. Takeoff was pronounced dead at the scene of the shooting at 2:30 a.m. An Associated Press reporter spotted a body loaded into a medical examiner’s truck around 10 a.m., more than seven hours after the shooting.

Security guards in the area heard the shots but did not see who fired them, a police spokesman said. A spokesman for 810 Billiards & Bowling said the shooting happened after the alley was closed and said the business is cooperating with investigators.

Several fans gathered opposite the bowling alley. Isaiah Lopez, 24, said he ran from his home in the Houston suburb of Humble after hearing Takeoff was 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 scene of the shooting. “Once my brother called me and said, ‘Takeoff’s gone,’ I had to come here and pay my respects.”

Thomas Moreno, 30, lives about five minutes from the bowling alley. She said she met Takeoff at an event at a Houston bar and restaurant in June and called him “a really nice guy.”

“I feel like another good man is gone too soon,” Moreno said. “That happens every day, but it hurts even more when it’s someone so talented and so young.”

Global Citizen Live, Los Angeles
Takeoff of Migos performs on stage during Global Citizen Live on September 25, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.

Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images for Global Citizen

By late Tuesday afternoon, fans had set up a memorial of roses, candles and a teddy bear on the first floor of the retail complex. Yellow crime scene tape is still blocked off the stairs leading to 810 Billiards & Bowling.

The takeoff kill came as Houston was in the spotlight, with the Astros baseball team getting the most views World Series running since 2019.

Crime has also emerged as a major political issue in this year’s midterm elections, with many Republicans running on law-and-order platforms while Democrats try to balance public safety with calls for criminal justice reform.

Homicides nationwide jumped almost 30% in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Violent crime appeared to level off somewhat in 2021 but did not fall to pre-pandemic levels, according to the latest FBI crime data, although record-keeping changes meant the report did not include some of the nation’s largest police departments.

In Houston, the mayor and police chief acknowledged such concerns, while noting that some violent crime rates have dropped since last year. Finner said he wants to meet with other hip-hop artists to talk about the violence, though he did not say Takeoff’s killing was related to the music business.

“We’ve got to all come together and make sure no one tears this industry down,” Finner said.

Migos first broke through with the smash hit “Versace” in 2013. They’ve had four Top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, though Takeoff wasn’t on the multi-week No. 1 hit “Bad and Boujee,” featuring Lil Uzi Vert. They released a trilogy of albums titled “Culture”, “Culture II” and “Culture III”, with the first two reaching No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. They also won an ASCAP Vanguard Award in 2018 for their streaming success with multi-platinum hits like “Motorsport (featuring 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 hit TV show “Atlanta,” but the team wasn’t together at the time.

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 Monday on his Instagram to his and Takeoff’s Halloween-themed music video, “Messy,” along with a video of him and his friends driving around Houston.

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