Authorities believe rising rapper Pop Smoke was shot and killed during a Los Angeles home-invasion robbery in February after his social media posts led five suspects to the house he was renting, police said after detectives arrested the group.
Los Angeles police had initially discounted a robbery theory in the days after the 20-year-old rapper’s death on February 19 at a home in the Hollywood Hills.
Pop Smoke’s legal name is Bashar Barakah Jackson. Captain Jonathan Tippet, who oversees the Los Angeles Police Department’s elite Robbery-Homicide Division, said three men and two teenage boys likely went to the home because they knew Pop Smoke was there from social media posts.
They stole items from the home, though Capt Tippet said he could not divulge what was taken.
The teenagers were 15 and 17 years old.
“We believe that it was a robbery.
“Initially we didn’t really have the evidence but then we discovered some other evidence that showed this was likely a home invasion gone bad,” Capt Tippet said.
The five suspects were arrested on Thursday morning as detectives served several search warrants in Los Angeles. All are believed to be members of a South Los Angeles gang, which Capt Tippet would not name, and at least some of them are believed to be linked to the 2019 homicide of an 18-year-old man when a fight escalated into a shooting 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 held on suspicion of attempted murder, police said.