Pop Smoke, a rising New York rapper, was fatally shot in a home in the Hollywood Hills early Wednesday, law enforcement sources confirmed.
Officers responded after someone calling from the East Coast reported that several people, at least one of whom wore a black mask and was armed with a handgun, had entered their friend’s home in Los Angeles shortly before 5 a.m., said LAPD Capt. Steve Lurie.
When officers arrived at the $2.5-million home in the 2000 block of Hercules Drive, they found the 20-year-old rapper, whose legal name is Bashar Barakah Jackson, with gunshot wounds.
He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Officers detained several people inside the house, but they were later released. Two to six suspects fled the scene and had not been found, Lurie said.
Investigators think the home where the rapper was staying was likely targeted by the assailants. In recent years, several home invasions in Los Angeles have been aimed at homes being rented by musicians, according to law enforcement sources.
Photos and videos on Pop Smoke’s Instagram story showed him in L.A., getting a haircut on Tuesday, and posing by the infinity pool in the backyard of the Hollywood Hills home where he was staying. Later that evening, he posted a photo of the Los Angeles skyline from what appeared to be the home’s backyard.
The Hollywood Hills home is owned by Teddi Mellencamp of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” and her husband, Edwin Arroyave, according to property records. Mellencamp wrote on Instagram that she was informed about the shooting early Wednesday by a third-party leasing and management company that oversees the rental property.
“Foremost, we would like to extend our prayers and condolences to the family and loved ones affected by this tragic loss of life,” she wrote.
The rapper’s death came days after his second mixtape, “Meet the Woo 2,” landed at No. 7 on the Billboard Top 200 list. His breakthrough mixtape, “Meet the Woo,” released last year, has 280 million streams globally.
Pop Smoke was signed to Republic Records through Victor Victor Worldwide, according to the label.
“We are devastated by the unexpected and tragic loss of Pop Smoke,” said a Republic Records spokesperson. “Our prayers and thoughts go out to his family, friends and fans, as we mourn this loss together.”
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Source: LA Times