Houston Police Chief Calls for Change in Hip-Hop Community After Takeoff Killing

Takeoff (Kirshnik Khari Ball) of hip hop trio Migos arrives at the 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards held at Staples Center on January 26, 2020 in Los Angeles, California, United States. — Photo by imagepressagency

Houston Police Chief Troy Finner made an urgent plea Tuesday for changes in the hip-hop community, after Migos rapper Takeoff was fatally shot in the city.

Finner said officers received a call at 2:34 a.m. of a shooting in progress at 810 Billiards and Bowling in the downtown area. He confirmed Takeoff, real name Kirshnik Khari Ball, was killed.

In a news conference Tuesday evening, the police chief said he had just spoken with Ball’s mother, who flew in from out of town.

“I want everybody to understand the pain, the suffering of a mother,” he said. “We stand with any victim of violence or any homicide victim, their family. We stand with them in this city, in this police department.”

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Finner said he heard from people throughout the day that Ball, 28, was “a great young man” and  “how peaceful he is.”

The police chief said he knows there are “a lot of great people in our hip-hop community,” but the industry is plagued by violence and something must change.

“I’m calling upon everybody, our hip-hop artists in Houston and around the nation. We’ve got to police ourselves. There are so many talented individuals, men and women in that community,” he stated. “We all need to stand together and make sure nobody tears down that industry. I’m calling to start here in Houston, here and possibly as early as next week, I want to meet with some of our artists and see how we can taper things down.”

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Takeoff and bandmate Quavo of Atlanta-based Migos, were attending a private party along with about 40 other people, when the shooting occurred. Takeoff was killed outside the doors of the bowling alley, police said. Two other people were shot and suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

Police said the shooting stemmed from an argument.

When the gunfire rang out, people attending the party ran away and no one has come forward to help police identify the gunman.

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Finner urged witnesses to “step up.”

“I just want to say something to our city — Houston. And every brother and sister in the neighborhoods,” Finner said. “I’m calling you to action, to step up. There were 40 people at least at this event and people left possibly out of fear. I ask you one thing, and I want this to resonate with everybody. What if it was your brother, what if it was your son? You will want somebody to step up, so please step up.”

Watch the news conference below.