Takeoff, one-third of influential rap group Migos, killed at 28 in Houston shooting
Kirsnik Khari Ball, known as Takeoff , was part of Migos along with Quavo and Offset. He died early Tuesday after being shot following a private party , said Troy Finner, chief of police at the Houston Police Department, at an afternoon press briefing Tuesday.
In a preliminary report obtained by USA TODAY Nov. 2, the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences ruled Takeoff's death a homicide and listed the rapper's primary cause of death as "penetrating gunshot wounds of head and torso into arm."
Finner said at least two people discharged firearms and that two other people have injuries that are not life-threatening after also being struck. They were taken to hospitals in private vehicles.
Police responded shortly after 2:30 a.m. to reports of a shooting at 810 Billiards & Bowling, where dozens of people had gathered on a balcony outside the third-floor bowling alley, police said. Officers discovered one man dead when they arrived. A reporter from The Associated Press at the scene observed a body loaded into a medical examiner’s van around 10 a.m., more than seven hours after the shooting.
Security guards who were in the area heard the shooting but did not see who fired the weapons, a police spokesperson said.
No arrests have been announced. Media members at the scene were being kept across the street, which was otherwise blocked off to the public.
A "Celebration of Life" will be held Friday for fans of Takeoff at Atlanta's State Farm Arena. Free tickets to the public memorial are only available to Georgia residents.
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Grammy-nominated Migos is known for mega-hit 2010s songs "Versace" and "Bad and Boujee." Quavo , 31, is Takeoff's uncle, born Quavious Keyate Marshall, and Offset , 30, is Quavo's cousin, born Kiari Kendrell Cephus.
Tuesday morning, several fans had gathered across the street from the bowling alley, which is in a three-story downtown Houston retail complex that includes high-end restaurants, a House of Blues and is near a Four Seasons hotel.
Isaiah Lopez, 24, said he rushed down from his home in the Houston suburb of Humble after hearing Takeoff had been killed.
“He was one of our favorites, mine and my brother’s. It’s all we would listen to,” Lopez said as he carried a dozen roses he hoped to place near the site of the shooting. “As soon as my brother called me and said, ‘Takeoff is gone,’ I had to come over here and pay my respects.”
Thomas Moreno, 30, who lives about five minutes away from the site of the shooting, said he had met Takeoff at an event at a Houston bar and restaurant in June and said he was “a real nice guy.”
“I feel it’s just another good person gone too soon,” Moreno said. “This happens every day but it hurts even more when it’s somebody so talented and so young.”
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Born June 18, 1994, in Lawrenceville, Georgia, Takeoff grew up with his soon-to-be collaborators, Quavo and Offset. "I just always wanted to rap," Takeoff recalled of their upbringing in a 2013 Fader interview . "When Quavo was out doing sports, I was in the studio, what we call the bando, making music, going hard."
Migos exploded in the early 2010s thanks to mixtape breakout song "Versace," which went viral. Their debut studio album, "Yung Rich Nation," was released in 2015 and featured Chris Brown and Yung Thug. In addition to several more mixtape albums, Migos went on to release three more studio albums: "Culture" (2017), which featured lead single "Bad and Boujee" that would spend three weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and nabbed them two Grammy nominations, "Culture II" (2018) and "Culture III" (2021).
"We're not letting up, because it's our time. We're going to take advantage of it," Offset told USA TODAY in 2017. "You don't see a lot of people having longevity, because they're coming in fast. My grandma used to tell me, 'You don't want to hit fast, because you might leave as fast as you came in.'"
Last month, Quavo and Takeoff released their debut "Only Built for Infinity Links" with Motown Records as a duo dubbed Unc and Phew, without Offset. The debut single, "Hotel Lobby (Unc & Phew)," was released in May, and a music video for their song "Messy" made its debut Monday.
Contributing: The Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Takeoff, one-third of influential rap group Migos, killed at 28 in Houston shooting