Takeoff dead at 28
Migos rapper “Takeoff,” real name Kirshnik Khari Ball, was killed during a dice game outside of a bowling alley in Houston, Texas early Tuesday morning. Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said that he did not want to speculate whether Takeoff was the target of the shooting, though videos have emerged online that appear to portray him as a bystander.
“Senseless violence and a stray bullet”
“Senseless violence and a stray bullet has taken another life from this world and we are devastated,” said Takeoff’s record label, Quality Control Music, in a statement.
Takeoff, 28, was a Grammy-nominated artist for one of the most popular rap groups of the 21st century, Migos. The group made headway in Atlanta as up-and-coming artists before dropping their first big hit Versace in 2013. They later went on to produce hit records such as Bad and Boujee, Stir Fry, and T-Shirt.
Details of the incident
The shooting took place around 2:30 a.m. local time outside of 810 Billiards and Bowling Alley. Police say that 40-50 guests, including Takeoff and his fellow Migos member Quavo, attended a private party before stepping outside to shoot dice.
Initial rumors suggested that Quavo got into a verbal altercation with several men just before the shooting that ultimately left Takeoff dead. Video depicting Quavo arguing with another man about basketball seconds before gunfire has since surfaced online. Takeoff is also seen in the video standing a few feet behind his bandmate and uncle.
Quavo can be heard saying “ay, let’s go,” turning around and walking away a few moments before shots break out.
A 24-year-old man and 23-year-old woman sustained non-life-threatening injuries and were driven to a hospital in private vehicles.
well respected, non-violent”
Police do not expect to find any motive tied to the deceased.
“Based on what people say about him, he’s well respected, non-violent,” said Chief Finner. “I would not expect him to be involved but I do want to wait on the investigation—but we have no reason to believe that he was involved in anything criminal at the time, just as people describe him as very peaceful, loving, a great entertainer.”
Social media outcry
The reaction on social media has been strong. Celebrities and fans have taken to Twitter to share their condolences over the rapper’s sudden death. This includes OutKast, another Atlanta-based rap group:
Female singer SZA, real name Solána Imani Rowe, described Takeoff as “SUCH A TALENTED SOUL”:
Meanwhile, in clear reference to the shooting, Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young shared his reaction to the news:
Joining the long list of musicians paying respects, global rap superstar Drake posted on Instagram shortly after the news broke. Drake featured on Migos’ first mainstream hit Versace (Remix) and was influential in their early success. He said: “I got the best memories of all of us seeing the world together and bringing light to every city we touch. That’s what I’ll focus on for now.”