Early Wednesday morning, up-and-coming Brooklyn rapper Pop Smoke was shot and killed at the home he was renting in the Hollywood Hills. Real name Bashar Barakah Jackson, Pop Smoke was on the forefront of Brooklyn’s exploding drill movement, paving the way with hits like “Welcome to the Party” and “Dior.” His second mixtape Meet the Woo 2 came out on February 7, less than two weeks before his death. Few details about the the 20-year-old’s untimely murder have been released. While the Los Angeles Police Department investigates, internet sleuths are also looking for their own theories, creating confusion around an already senseless loss. Here’s everything we currently know about Pop Smoke’s death.
How did Pop Smoke die?
On Wednesday, February 19, at around 4:30 a.m., police say an unknown number of suspects, including one wearing a mask and carrying a weapon, entered a Hollywood Hills house where Pop Smoke was staying and fatally shot the rapper. He was transported to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where he died a few hours later.
How did the police respond to Pop Smoke’s death?
Responding to a call from the East Coast saying that several people had entered their friend’s home, the LAPD arrived to find Pop Smoke with gunshot wounds. The police detained several people at the house, but all were let go. According to the authorities, at least four suspects fled the scene.
Where was Pop Smoke when he died?
Pop Smoke was renting Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Teddi Mellencamp and her husband Edwin Arroyave’s home through a third-party agency. Mellencamp extended her condolences on Instagram: “Early this am we were informed by a 3rd party leasing and management company overseeing a rental home we own in Los Angeles that a shooting had taken place at the property,” she wrote in the caption. “Foremost, we would like to extend our prayers and condolences to the family and loved ones affected by this tragic loss of life.” According to the Los Angeles Times, investigators believe the house itself could have been a target for home invasion and robbery, following a string of robberies at homes rented by musicians, although Robbery Homicide Division Captain Jonathan Tippet also told the Times he was “not comfortable calling it a robbery right now.”
Was Pop Smoke’s address leaked online?
Fans and internet investigators initially believed Pop Smoke’s death was the result of a robbery gone wrong. Earlier, Pop Smoke had posted photos on social media showing large amounts of money, designer goods, and a luxury car. His friend Mike Dee also posted images, including one in which the home’s address can be partially seen in the background. The rapper also posted a story on Instagram and Facebook of designer bags, and the house’s full address could be read on the packaging. Authorities are aware that the address was shared online, but are not drawing any conclusions about motive.
Was Pop Smoke’s death gang related?
Per the Times, Los Angeles investigators are considering the possibility that Pop Smoke’s death was gang related. Officials have tied him to the Crips, and they suspect that the assailants may have been gang affiliated.
What does surveillance footage show?
TMZ spoke to sources who have seen surveillance footage from Pop Smoke’s rental home. According to those witnesses, four men went around to the back of house but only three returned to the front. The fourth suspect exited through the front door, presumably having entered through the back door. Multiple shots were heard inside the home. The man did not take anything with him from the home, according to those who saw the footage, which may mean the attack was not a robbery.
Did Pop Smoke’s friend Mike Dee set him up?
Fans were quick to accuse Mike Dee, who posted the photo with the address in the background, of setting Pop Smoke up. After deleting everything off of his Instagram page, Dee mourned his friend and cleared his name. “CANT NOTHING EXPRESS THE PAIN IM FEELING ….I JUST LOST MY FUCKING BROTHER, MY HEART MY DAWGZ 💙 YOU GUYS HAVE NO TYPE OF SENSE OR SYMPATHY!” he wrote underneath a photo of them as children. “YALL DONT KNO WHATS GOING ON YALL COME ON HERE PLAYING INVESTIGATOR AND BASHING ME ON THE INTERNET, I WOULD NEVER IN MY LIFE SET MY BROTHER UP, WE ATE TOGETHER , BROKE BREAD TOGETHER THIS REALLY MY MOTHER CHILD.”