Takeoff, who was one-third of the platinum-selling rap group Migos, was shot and killed early Tuesday in Houston, Texas, a source close to the group confirmed to CNN. He was 28 years old.
Police received a call of a shooting in progress around 2:34 a.m. local time, Houston Police Department Chief Troy Finner said at a news conference Tuesday. Officers arrived at 810 Billiards & Bowling Houston where a private party was taking place and found a man dead at the scene.
Two other people – a 23-year-old man and a 24-year-old woman – were also injured in the shooting and taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, said Sgt. Michael Arrington with the police department’s homicide division.
Employees told police an argument ensued after the party ended when a large group of people gathered in the front door area outside the building, leading to the shooting. At least 40 people were at the scene at the time of the shooting, Finner said.
“A lot of people who were there fled the scene and didn’t stay to make a statement,” Arrington said.
Finner identified the dead man as Kirshnik Khari Ball, aka Takeoff of the rap group Migos.
“I got a lot of calls from Houston and outside of Houston, and everybody talked about what a great young man he is, how peaceful he is, what a great artist (he is),” Finner said, later adding that Takeoff was well-respected . and not violent.
“I wouldn’t expect him to be involved … We have no reason to believe he was involved in anything criminal at the time,” Finner said.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said they met with Takeoff’s mother.
“It doesn’t matter how famous you are. You might not be famous at all,” Turner said. “Anyone who loses their life is a life lost, and there are family members and friends who suffer as a result.”
News of Takeoff’s death came as a blow to the hip-hop community, which was still reeling from the fatal shooting of rapper PnB Rock in September. Stars took to social media on Tuesday to pay tribute and express their condolences over Takeoff’s death.
Gucci Mane, who recently collaborated with Takeoff on the track “Us vs. Them,” wrote on Instagram, “this broke my heart” upon hearing the news.
“This is horrible. From the tragedy of the death to the tragedy of there being a video online,” actress Keke Palmer shared on Instagram, referring to a video that appears to show the rapper dead in the moments after being shot. “It’s all tragic and I’m so sorry for all his family and everything he touched. Really terrible.”
Rapper Ja Rule aired his grievances over Takeoff’s violent death on Twitterwriting, “this crap has to STOP…sending love to friends and family.”
The Atlanta Falcons too has published a statement on Twitter.
“Takeoff’s legacy lives on in Atlanta and around the world,” the team tweeted.
Born in Lawrenceville, Georgia, Takeoff began performing with his uncle and fellow rapper Quavo, along with Offset, as Migos in 2008. The trio found fame with their 2013 single, “Versace.”
His success only increased in 2016 with the release of his hit “Bad and Boujee” which featured his recording partner Lil Uzi Vert.
The single quickly became an internet sensation, spawning a multitude of memes playing up the lyrics “rain drop, drop top”.
The song got an even bigger boost after “Atlanta” creator and star Donald Glover dropped the single during an acceptance speech at the 2017 Golden Globe Awards.
“I really want to thank Migos, not for being on the show, but for doing ‘Bad and Boujee,'” Glover said at the time. “Like that’s the best song ever.”
Takeoff and Quavo recently formed the duo “Unc & Phew” and released their debut album, “Only Built for Infinity Links,” on October 7th.
The music video for his song “Messy” was released on Monday.
During a recent conversation on the “Drink Champs” podcast just days before his death, Takeoff accepted praise for his stellar performance on the new project.
“It’s time to do it, you know what I mean? It’s time to give me my flowers, you know what I mean,” Takeoff said. “I don’t want them later when I’m not here.”