LOS ANGELES – Authorities believe rising rapper Pop Smoke was shot dead during a home robbery in Los Angeles in February after his social media posts led to five suspects in the house he rented, police announced after detectives arrested the group on Thursday morning.
Los Angeles police initially dismissed a theory of theft in the days following the 20-year-old rapper’s death on February 19 in a Hollywood Hills home. Pop Smoke’s legal name is Bashar Barakah Jackson.
Captain Jonathan Tippet, who oversees the Los Angeles Police Department’s elite robbery and homicide division, said three men and two teens probably went home because they knew Pop Smoke was there from social media. They stole items from the house, although Tippet said he could not disclose what had been taken. The adolescents were 15 and 17 years old.
“We think it was theft. At first we didn’t really have the evidence, but we found other evidence that it was probably a home invasion that had gone wrong, “Tippet told The Associated Press on Thursday.
The five suspects were arrested on Thursday morning while detectives executed several search warrants in Los Angeles. All of them are believed to be members of a gang in south Los Angeles, which Tippet would not name, and at least some of them are believed to be linked to the murder of an 18-year-old man in 2019 when a fight turned into a shootout outside the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.
The three men were identified as Jaquan Murphy, 21, Corey Walker, 19, and Keandre D. Rodgers, 18, all of Los Angeles.
Walker and Rodgers were arrested on suspicion of murder and Murphy was detained on suspicion of attempted murder, police said.
The men were detained instead of a bail of $ 1 million each.
The 15-year-old and the 17-year-old were also charged with murder.
It was not immediately known if any of those arrested had a lawyer.
Pop Smoke and his entourage staying at home are not believed to be associated with the gang, said Tippet. No one else was killed during the incident.
The Los Angeles Times reported in February that the rapper had posted photos of him posing near an infinity pool in the backyard of the house, as well as a photo of the silhouette of Los Angeles from what was probably the backyard of the house. In another article, Pop Smoke or a member of his entourage put a photo of a gift bag labeled with the address of Hollywood Hills and another photo showed him posing near a Ranger Rover in a place where the address of the house was partially visible in the background.
“We think (the theft from home) was based on some of the social media,” said Tippet. “It is based on the fact that he published his information may have contributed to his knowing where to find it. ”
The house where the shooting took place is the property of Edwin Arroyave and his wife Teddi Mellencamp, daughter of John Mellencamp, member of the Rock & Roll Hall-of-Famer and star of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills”.
Teddi Mellencamp had previously stated on Instagram that the couple had been informed of the shooting on their rental property but did not know more than what they had seen in media reports.
Pop Smoke arrived on the rap scene in 2018 and erupted with “Welcome to the Party”, a gangsta hymn with bragging about shootings, murders and drugs that became a huge sensation, and prompted Nicki Minaj to drop a worm on a remix.
Earlier this year, Pop Smoke released the mixtape “Meet the Woo 2”, which debuted in 7th place on the Billboard Top 200 album charts. It was followed by its first official release, “Meet the Woo ” The rapper also had the popular hit “Gatti” with Travis Scott and Jackboys and “Dior”.
Her first album, “Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon”, was produced by 50 Cent. It was published posthumously last Friday for mostly positive reviews and features appearances by popular artists such as Future, DaBaby and Quavo.
Associate editor Jonathan Landrum contributed.
Stefanie Dazio, The Associated Press
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