New York rapper Pop Smoke was shot and killed during a Los Angeles home-invasion robbery in February 2020 after his social media posts led five suspects to a house he was renting. Detectives arrested the group of young men on Thursday morning.
LAPD had initially discounted a robbery theory in the days after the 20-year-old rapper’s death February 19, 2020, at a home in the Hollywood Hills. New York rapper Pop Smoke government 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 Tippet said he could not divulge what was taken. The teens 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,” Tippet told The Associated Press on Thursday.
The five suspects were arrested Thursday morning as detectives served several search warrants in Los Angeles. All are believed to be members of a South Los Angeles gang, which 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 21-year-old Jaquan Murphy, 19-year-old Corey Walker, and 18-year-old Keandre D. Rodgers, all of Los Angeles.
Corey Walker and Keandre Rodgers were arrested on suspicion of murder and Jaquan Murphy was held on suspicion of attempted murder.
The men were being held in lieu of $1 million bail a piece.
Check back here for updates on this investigation.