Rapper Pop Smoke, an up-and-coming artist born in Brooklyn, was shot and killed Wednesday in a Hollywood Hills, California, home, multiple law enforcement officials confirmed to ABC News.
Multiple suspects broke into the home with at least one wearing a black mask, sources said. The suspects then shot the victim, who was transported to a local hospital where he died, according to the sources.
“We are devastated by the unexpected and tragic loss of Pop Smoke,” his record label, Republic Records, said in a statement. “Our prayers and thoughts go out to his family, friends and fans, as we mourn this loss together.”
Officials have not yet publicly said whether it was a targeted or random attack. However, sources told ABC News that detectives determined it was gang-related.
Pop Smoke was known to be connected to gang members, and authorities are investigating whether the killing was connected to the rapper’s recent arrest by federal prosecutors in Brooklyn, after he allegedly stole a 2019 Rolls-Royce he had borrowed for a music video in California, the sources said. He had been out on bond in that case, which allowed him to travel to Los Angeles.
A 911 call of the Wednesday morning incident came in around 4:30 a.m. in the 2000 block of Hercules Drive.
Captain Steve Lurie of the Los Angeles Police Department said at a press conference the 911 call came from someone on the East Coast, who was a friend of someone inside the residence and had been contacted by that friend in the home.
He said it was not immediately clear how many suspects entered the home, but preliminary information indicates it was between two and six.
Lurie said the LAPD was not identifying the victim yet.
No arrests were made at the home, according to Lurie. He said multiple people were detained inside the residence, but then released.
LAPD Operations-West Bureau was at the scene of the crime and is investigating.
Pop Smoke’s rise to fame came last summer with the hit song “Welcome to the Party.” Nicki Minaj collaborated with the rapper on the official remix, which was released in August. At its peak, it reached No. 9 on the Billboard chart for top rap songs.
Pop Smoke’s death comes the same week he earned his first top 10 spot on Billboard, for his second mixtape, “Meet the Woo, V.2.”
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