Pop Smoke was fatally shot in a Los Angeles Airbnb rental by a 15-year-old gunman who was part of a crew trying to steal the rapper’s diamond-studded Rolex, an LAPD detective in the case testified Friday.
The suspects read the address of the Airbnb on a gift bag label in a photo the rapper posted on Instagram, law enforcement officials said, according to the New York Daily News.
The gunmen combed through Pop Smoke’s Instagram account, spotted pictures of his Rolex, a large stack of cash and the address of the rental home.
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The suspects were also after the rapper’s Cuban link gold chain, but apparently only managed to find the expensive watch, which they later resold for $2,000, the LAPD detective said.
Pop Smoke, born Bashar Barakah Jackson, was fatally shot during an early morning home invasion in the Hollywood Hills on Feb. 19, 2020.
Public testimony in the case started Thursday with two LAPD detectives taking the stand.
The alleged triggerman and his crew were all members of the same street gang, according to court testimony.
The detectives said the alleged triggerman is the youngest member of the group of four suspects charged in the case. The 15-year-old allegedly admitted he pulled the trigger during a recorded interview with a cellmate at a juvenile detention center last May.
“He admitted that he shot the victim three times with a Baretta 9 (mm.),” LAPD Det. Carlos Camacho testified Friday at a preliminary hearing for a different suspect in the case.
“They got into a fight, and he shot him three times,” Camacho testified. “He said he shot him on the back.”
Pop Smoke, 20, was taking a shower when gunmen broke into the home at 4 a.m. A woman was with the rapper at the time of the shooting. One of the gunmen found the woman in a bedroom and allegedly pressed a semiautomatic weapon to her head while the others rushed into the adjoining bathroom, according to testimony.
“She heard a struggle coming from the shower area and heard Mr. Jackson screaming. Mr. Jackson ran out of the bathroom and then she heard a loud pop and [heard] Mr. Jackson fall to the ground,” a detective said.
The woman told investigators the suspects kicked Pop Smoke after he was shot, according to police.
In July 2020, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced two adult males and two teens had been charged in connection with Pop Smoke’s death.
Corey Walker, 20, and Keandre Rodgers, 19, were each charged with murder with the special circumstance allegation that the murder occurred during the commission of a robbery and a burglary, making them eligible for the death penalty. Additionally, two male juveniles, ages 17 and 15, were each charged with one count of murder and robbery in juvenile court. The juveniles’ names were not released.
Pop Smoke’s star began to rise with the release of his 2019 single “Welcome to the Party.” His first album “Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon” debuted posthumously in July 2020, and was executive produced by 50 Cent.