Pop Smoke: Five arrested in connection to rapper’s death

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Five people have been arrested in connection to the death of rapper Pop Smoke.

The 20-year-old was killed in a suspected robbery in February. Three men and two under the age of 18 are in custody, say the Los Angeles Police Department.

“The suspects robbed and shot Jackson inside the residence, killing him,” police say in a statement.

The arrests come a week after Pop Smoke’s debut album was released.

On 19 February police received a call about a robbery in West Hollywood just before 5am.

It was from one of the Brooklyn rapper’s friends in New York, who told police they had been contacted by a friend within the residence about a break-in, and that one of the intruders had a handgun.

Police say several people entered the rental property.

The LAPD have identified the three adults arrested on Thursday 9 July 2020 as Corey Walker, 19, and Keandre Rodgers, 18, who are charged with murder, and 21-year-old Jaquan Murphy, charged with attempted murder.

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Image caption

Pop Smoke performed with Skepta at shows in London, Glasgow and Birmingham at the end of last year

The LAPD statement also mentioned the killing of another man, Kamryn Stone – an 18-year-old who was killed in September 2019.

“During the course of the investigation, it was revealed that members of a Los Angeles street gang were involved in the murder of Jackson; as well as the murder of 18-year-old Kamryn Stone.”

Whether the five people arrested in connection to Pop Smoke’s death are also believed to have been involved with the death of Kamryn Stone was not clear from the statement.

‘Destined for great things’

Pop Smoke’s posthumous debut album was released last week, and fans told Radio 1 Newsbeat the rapper had left them “something special”.

“He was definitely destined for great things,” fan Malluchi Boateng said on the day Shoot For The Stars Aim For The Moon was released.

“If you look at what he did in about 14 months of his career, most artists do that in five or six years.”

The New York rapper found fans in the UK, in part, because he used drill beats produced from this side of the Atlantic.

He had relationships with artists like AJ Tracey, Fredo and Dave – and his previous mixtape featured a freestyle on the same beat as Headie One’s iconic tune Know Better.

“The UK has a thing where we can see who the up-and-coming US rap stars are, it’s a weird one. Pop Smoke was the front runner in that,” music journalist Abubakar Finiin told Newsbeat.

“It’s a shame we didn’t see it proper come into fruition.”

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