Houston

Migos rapper Takeoff shot dead in downtown Houston early Tuesday

Police responded shortly after 2:30 a.m. to reports of a shooting at 810 Billiards & Bowling. A search for suspects continued Tuesday afternoon.

Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File
FILE – Takeoff of the group Migos performs during the 2019 BET Experience in Los Angeles on June 22, 2019. A representative confirms that rapper Takeoff is dead after a shooting outside of a Houston bowling alley. Takeoff , whose real name was Kirsnick Khari Ball, was part of Migos along with Quavo and Offset. He was 28.

The rapper Takeoff, best known for his work with the Grammy-nominated trio Migos, was killed after a shooting early Tuesday outside a bowling alley in downtown Houston. He was 28.

Kirsnick Khari Ball, known as Takeoff, was part of Migos along with Quavo and Offset. A representative for the group confirmed the death Tuesday morning to the Associated Press. Houston police later confirmed the death publicly at an afternoon press conference.

Police responded shortly after 2:30 a.m. to reports of a shooting at 810 Billiards & Bowling in the Green Street complex, where dozens of people had gathered on a balcony outside of the third-floor bowling alley, police said. Officers discovered one man dead when they arrived. An AP reporter at the scene observed a body loaded into a medical examiner's van around 10 a.m., more than seven hours after the shooting.

Security guards who were in the area heard the shooting but did not see who did it, a police spokesperson said. Two other people were injured and taken to hospitals in private vehicles.

HPD said Tuesday afternoon it is searching for the suspect or suspects who killed Takeoff and shot the others and the department is seeking additional video, photos and tips. Chief Troy Finner asked people who attended the private party to come forward with information.

"What if it was your brother or son? We want somebody to step up,” Finner said.

Media members at the scene later Tuesday morning were being kept across the street, which was otherwise blocked off to the public, and 810 Billiards & Bowling’s management did not immediately respond to a phone message seeking comment.

Several fans gathered across the street from the bowling alley, which is in a three-story downtown Houston retail complex that includes high-end restaurants, a House of Blues and is near a Four Seasons hotel.

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."

Mayor Sylvester Turner vowed that the Takeoff shooting case would be solved and those involved tracked down by authorities.

Turner also said he's worried about young people in the city of Houston.

"There are too many young men of color, killing young men of color,” he said Tuesday afternoon. “We need to have that conversation. We need to deal with it head on.”

Takeoff was the youngest member of Migos, the rap trio from suburban Atlanta that also featured his uncle Quavo and cousin Offset. They first broke through 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, though Takeoff was not on their multi-week No. 1 hit "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 was not 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. 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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Associated Press writers Juan A. Lozano in Houston and Jill Bleed in Little Rock, Arkansas, contributed to this report.

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