Police: Robbery looks unlikely as motive in 20-year-old rapper killing

Detectives have not ruled out robbery in Pop Smoke’s home-invasion death

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Republic Records

In this undated photo provided by Republic Records is Pop Smoke. The up-and-coming rapper known as Pop Smoke, whose legal name is Bashar Barakah Jackson, was fatally shot during a break-in early Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020, at a Hollywood Hills home, his label said. "We are devastated by the unexpected and tragic loss of Pop Smoke," Republic Records said in a statement. "Our prayers and thoughts go out to his family, friends and fans, as we mourn this loss together." (Republic Records via AP)

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – The home-invasion death of rising rapper Pop Smoke in Los Angeles does not appear to be part of a robbery, police said Thursday, as detectives sought to identify the shooter and the music community mourned.

Investigators were not ruling out a robbery, but they were looking at other possible motives as well, said Capt. Jonathan Tippet, head of the Robber-Homicide Division of the Los Angeles Police Department.

The 20-year-old Brooklyn, New York, rapper whose legal name is Bashar Barakah Jackson was killed Wednesday at a home in the Hollywood Hills. A 911 call from a friend of someone in the house reported armed intruders inside the home, police said.

This aerial photo taken from video provided by Fox11 News KTTV-TV shows the Hollywood Hills home, center, where Pop Smoke, 20, was shot and killed early Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020, in Los Angeles. Republic Records says in a statement that the label is devastated by the unexpected and tragic loss of the rapper. The shooting occurred before dawn Wednesday. Public listings show that the home which is a rental is owned by Edwin Arroyave and his wife Teddi Mellencamp, daughter of singer John Mellencamp and star of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills." (Fox11 News KTTV-TV via AP) (Fox11 News KTTV-TV)

An autopsy was planned after Pop Smoke was declared dead at a hospital. Police have not announced any arrests or named any suspects.

Hundreds of people gathered in the streets of Brooklyn on Wednesday night, playing the rapper's music and dancing at an impromptu vigil. In Manhattan, rapper Roddy Ricch performed Pop Smoke's hit “Welcome to the Party” at a concert.

Chance the Rapper, 50 Cent, Meek Mill and Nicki Minaj, who collaborated with Pop Smoke, were among those paying tribute on social media.