Officials seek information after Migos rapper Takeoff, 28, dies in Houston shooting


Migos rapper Takeoff died early Tuesday in a shooting outside a bowling alley in Houston. He was 28.

The“T-Shirt” artist, whose real name was Kirshnik Khari Ball, was one of the three members comprising the Atlanta-based rap group Migos. Houston police Chief Troy Finner confirmed the rapper’s death during a press conference Tuesday.

“I got many calls from Houston and outside of Houston, and every one spoke of what a great young man this is, how peaceful he is, what a great artist ” Finner said.

Takeoff is the latest member of the hip-hop community to fall victim to gun violence. Rapper PnB Rock was shot in South Los Angeles in September and rising Louisiana artist JayDaYoungan died after a shooting in July. As the press briefing continued, Finner called for action from rap artists.

“I’m calling upon everybody — hip-hop artists in Houston and around the nation, we got to police ourselves,” Finner said. “There’s 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.”

Migos also featured Takeoff’s cousin Offset and uncle Quavo. The chart-topping trio collaborated on popular singles including “MotorSport” and “Walk It Talk It” with artists such as Drake, Nicki Minaj and Cardi B, who is married to Offset.

According to the Houston Police Department, officers responded to a shooting at 810 Billiards & Bowling shortly after 2:30 a.m. and one man was found dead on arrival.

The AP reported that dozens of people had gathered on a third-floor balcony outside the bowling alley for a private party before the shooting. Security guards who were in the area heard the shooting but did not see who did it, a police spokesperson told the AP.

Law enforcement officials told KPRC Houston that a crowd of approximately 40 or 50 people was at the scene and when officers arrived, they found the crowd and a man with a gunshot wound to the head or neck. Investigators said they found shell casings on the third level outside the bowling and pool hall, KPRC reported.

Two other people were injured and taken to hospitals in private vehicles, police said Tuesday. No arrests have been announced.

According to TMZ, Takeoff and Quavo were playing dice at the party when an altercation broke out and someone opened fire, reportedly shooting Takeoff.

Finner and Houston mayor Sylvester Turner encouraged those who were at the event to provide more information about the shooting.

“We have too many young men of color that are being injured or fatally killed, and their future is cut off and family members and friends are left to mourn,” Turner said during the briefing. “This does not have to be our reality and it need not be our future. “

During the Q&A portion of the briefing, Finner said he and his team have no reason to believe that Takeoff was “involved in anything criminal at the time” of the shooting, adding that friends and family described the slain rapper as “very peaceful, loving and a great entertainer.” The police chief said he believes two firearms were used at the shooting and that the suspect(s) were present at the party and in their 20s. However, he deferred to the results of the ongoing investigation.

Earlier that night, Takeoff posted an Instagram Story showing him smoking at what appeared to be the bowling alley.

Migos took off in 2013 with the viral hit “Versace,” a nimble, quick-stepping number later remixed by Drake. The group honed its sound after that with mixtapes and guest spots on songs with rapper Gucci Mane and singer Justin Bieber. The group released its first studio album, “Yung Rich Nation,” in 2015.

The group earned two Grammy nominations, one for rap performance for the single “Bad and Boujee” and another for 2017 rap album “Culture.” The group also earned an ASCAP Vanguard Award in 2018 for the streaming success of hits “Motorsport (featuring Cardi B and Nicki Minaj),” “Stir Fry” and “Walk It Talk It.”

The trio played a fictional version of themselves in Donald Glover’s Emmy-winning FX series “Atlanta.” (Glover, who also performs as Childish Gambino, famously gave them a shoutout during his 2017 Golden Globes speech when he picked up the award for TV series, musical or comedy.)

Offset debuted a solo album in 2019. Takeoff and Quavo performed as the duo Unc & Phew and released the music video for “Messy” on Monday through Motown and Quality Control labels. Their album, “Only Built for Infinity Links,” was released in early October.

In August 2020, Takeoff was accused in a civil lawsuit of sexual battery and assault. However, in April 2021, the L.A. County District Attorney’s office declined to prosecute the rapper for the sexual assault allegations due to insufficient evidence. At the time, his lawyer told TMZ that “the allegations were patently and provably false.”

The civil lawsuit brought by the woman remained.

Times staff writer Alexandra Del Rosario contribute to this report.


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