Takeoff, of the rap group Migos, fatally shot at 28

The Migos rapper was killed at a bowling alley in Houston, Texas in the early hours of Tuesday, police say.

The rapper Takeoff
Takeoff, whose real name was Kirshnik Khari Ball, was the youngest member of the rap group Migos, from suburban Atlanta, Georgia, US [File: Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP Photo]

Texas police have confirmed US rapper Takeoff, a member of the hip-hop trio Migos, was fatally shot in Houston, as condolences poured in from other artists, celebrities and fans across the United States.

Police responded early on Tuesday to reports of a shooting at a bowling alley, where they said one man “was found deceased upon arrival”. They later identified the victim as 28-year-old Takeoff, whose real name is Kirshnik Khari Ball.

Houston Police Chief Troy Finner told reporters that two other people were taken to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

“Let me speak to the human element first before we do anything,” Finner told reporters. “I spoke to this young man’s mother just an hour ago; she flew in here from out of town. I want everybody to understand the pain, suffering of a mother – very tough.”

Authorities said they have not made any arrests in relation to the incident.

Several media outlets had reported that Takeoff was killed hours before police eventually confirmed the news on Tuesday afternoon.

“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,” Finner said.

Takeoff was the youngest member of Migos, the rap trio from suburban Atlanta, Georgia, which also included his uncle Quavo and cousin Offset. They first broke through with the massive hit Versace in 2013. The song was remixed by Drake, heightening its popularity.

The group had four Top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, though Takeoff was not on their multi-week number-one Bad and Boujee, featuring Lil Uzi Vert. They put out a trilogy of albums called Culture, Culture II and Culture III, with the first two albums hitting number one on the Billboard 200 album chart.

They also earned an ASCAP Vanguard Award in 2018, for their streaming success with multiplatinum songs like Motorsport (featuring Cardi B and Nicki Minaj), Stir Fry and Walk It Talk It.

The trio also played a fictional version of themselves on an episode of the hit TV show Atlanta, but the group wasn’t currently together.

Offset, who is married to Cardi B, released a solo album in 2019, while Takeoff and Quavo released a joint album Only Built for Infinity Links last month.

Several artists and celebrities paid tribute to Takeoff as news of his death started spreading online.

“Rest In Peace, Takeoff,” progressive advocate Nina Turner wrote on Twitter. “The gun violence is so extremely senseless. Sending love to his family and loved ones.”

The boxer Chris Eubank Jr described the late rapper as a “down to earth, cool dude”. Others also praised him as humbled and lauded his rapping skills.

“Rest in Peace Kirshnik ‘Takeoff’ Khari Ball,” the Atlanta Falcons US football team wrote on Twitter. “Takeoff’s legacy lives on in Atlanta and across the world. Our deepest sympathies go out to his family and friends.”

Source: Al Jazeera, The Associated Press