Takeoff shooting: Migos rapper killed by ‘stray bullet’, says record label

(L-R) Offset, Quavo, and Takeoff of Migos arrive at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala

Migos rapper Takeoff was killed by a stray bullet, his record label has said, releasing a statement condemning “senseless violence”.

The 28-year-old hip-hop star was pronounced dead at the scene after being shot outside a bowling alley in Houston, Texas, in the early hours on Tuesday.

Takeoff, real name Kirsnick Khari Ball, was best known as a member of Atlanta rap trio Migos along with Quavo and Offset.

(L-R) Offset, Quavo, and Takeoff of Migos arrive at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala
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Takeoff was a member of rap trio Migos alongside his cousin Offset and uncle Quavo

Representatives for record label Quality Control Music shared a tribute on social media saying they had been left devastated by his death.

“It is with broken hearts and deep sadness that we mourn the loss of our beloved brother Kirsnick Khari Ball, known to the world as Takeoff,” the statement read.

“Senseless violence and a stray bullet has taken another life from this world and we are devastated.

“Please respect his family and friends as we all continue to process this monumental loss.”

Houston police have called on witnesses to come forward with information. No arrests had been made so far.

Police said they were called to the scene at about 2.34am local time (7.34am in the UK), with reports of a shooting outside Billiards and Bowling Alley in Houston. A private party of about 40 people, including Takeoff, had been taking place there, they said.

‘Sometimes the hip-hop community gets a bad name’

Takeoff was found dead at the scene and two other individuals, a 23-year-old man and a 24-year-old woman, were taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

In a press conference, police chief Troy Finner said he had received many calls praising Takeoff as a “great young man”.

Mr Finner said: “Sometimes the hip-hop community gets a bad name and I know, evident from this city and people who I have a personal relationship with, a lot of great people in our hip-hop community, and I respect them.

“But back to Takeoff. I got many calls from Houston and outside of Houston, and everyone spoke of what a great young man this is, how peaceful he is, what a great artist.

“And I’m calling up on everybody, hip-hop artists in Houston and around the nation, we (have) got to police ourselves.

“It is so many talented individuals, men and women in that community, who again, I love and I respect, and we all need to stand together and make sure nobody tears down that industry.”

‘Too many young men of colour being injured or killed’

Mr Finner said he would not speculate on whether Takeoff was the intended target.

“Based on what people say about him, he’s well respected, non-violent,” he said.

“I would not expect him to be involved but I do want to wait on the investigation… we have no reason to believe that he was involved in anything criminal at the time, just as people describe him as very peaceful, loving, great entertainer.”

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner also spoke during the press conference, saying: “We have too many young men of colour that are being injured or killed and their future is cut off and family members and friends are left to mourn.

“This does not have to be our reality and it need not be our future. And so as it relates to this particular incident, what I would say to the people in this city and even beyond – we will solve this crime.”

Music stars including Dave, Sean Paul, AJ Tracey, Kid Cudi, Khalid and Ja Rule are among those who have paid tribute to Takeoff.

Migos comprised of Takeoff and his uncle Quavo and cousin Offset, who is married to rapper Cardi B.

The trio first rose to fame with the viral single Versace in 2013 and went on to have a number of hit tracks including the 2016 Grammy-nominated Bad And Boujee, Motorsport (with Nicki Minaj and Cardi B) and Stir Fry.

The group also played fictional versions of themselves in the American comedy-drama TV series Atlanta, created by and starring Donald Glover.

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