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Rapper Pop Smoke shot to death in Hollywood Hills home invasion

Posted: 7:29 AM, Feb 19, 2020
Updated: 2020-02-19 14:10:20-05
Pop Smoke

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (CNS) - Rapper Pop Smoke was fatally shot Wednesday in a home-invasion robbery in the Hollywood Hills.

The Los Angeles Police Department said officers went to 2033 Hercules Drive about 4:55 a.m. in response to a 911 call that originated on the East Coast. Police did not immediately identify the shooting victim, but Pop Smoke's record label, Republic Records, issued a statement confirming his death, which was first reported by TMZ.com.

"We are devastated by the unexpected and tragic loss of (Pop Smoke)," according to the company. "Our prayers and thoughts go out to his family, friends and fans, as we mourn this loss together."

LAPD Capt. Steve Lurie said the 911 call came from someone "back East (who) stated a friend of theirs home was being broken into by multiple suspects, and that one of them was armed with a handgun."

"When officers arrived there approximately six minutes later, they discovered a victim inside the house had been shot," Lurie said. "They called the fire department, who arrived and transported that victim to Cedars-Sinai (Medical Center), where he was pronounced dead."

No descriptions were immediately available of the suspects, who were wearing masks, police said.

"Officers detained several people who were inside the house," Lurie said. "However, all of those folks were released. ... No one was arrested at the scene."

Lurie said various witness statements indicated that between two and six suspects were involved in the break-in.

According to TMZ, the 20-year-old rapper was at the residence when two men wearing hoodies and masks broke into the house.

"We're told the 2 men fired multiple shots, striking and critically wounding Pop Smoke," TMZ reported. "The men were seen fleeing on foot."

Pop Smoke released an album in July, and one of the songs, "Welcome to the Party," was considered by many the song of the summer, TMZ reported.

Nicki Minaj did a remix of the song a few months later. Pop Smoke also did a song, "Gatti," with Travis Scott. Pop Smoke's real name was Bashar Barakah Jackson.

Minaj shared a photo of the slain rapper on Instagram, along with the words: "The Bible tells us that jealousy is as cruel as the grave. Unbelievable. Rest in Peace, Pop."

Rapper 50 Cent wrote on Twitter: "R.I.P. to my man Pop Smoke, No sympathy for winners. God bless him." In a second post, 50 Cent wrote: "No such thing as success with out jealousy, treachery comes from those who are close. R.I.P."

According to various media reports, the up-and-coming New York rapper posted photos earlier Wednesday or late Tuesday from a party at the home, even revealing the address. According to TMZ, one of the photos showed a person holding a large sum of money.

Property records indicate the home where the shooting took place is owned by Teddi Mellencamp Arroyave -- who appears on "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" -- and her husband, Edwin Arroyave. Teddi Mellencamp Arroyave is the daughter of musician John Mellencamp.