Rapper Pop Smoke’s Alleged Killers Arrested as Police Investigate Potential Ties to Unsolved Murder

by San Eli News

Los Angeles police have arrested five suspects in connection to Pop Smoke’s murder at his Hollywood Hills rental home in February.

Three men and two juvenile boys were taken into police custody on Thursday in relation to the fatal shooting of the 20-year-old rapper, born Bashar Jackson, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

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The three adult suspects were identified by the LAPD as Corey Walker, 19, Jaquan Murphy, 21, and Keandre D. Rodgers, 18, according to a press release obtained by PEOPLE on Thursday. Walker and Rodgers were charged with murder and Murphy charged with attempted murder Thursday morning. Their bail was set at $1 million each.

The two juvenile suspects were not identified.

Police said that members of a Los Angeles street gang were involved in both Jackson’s murder as well as the killing of 18-year-old Kamryn Stone, who was murdered in a parking lot at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, last September.

The LAPD said that it collaborated with the Pasadena Police Department on the investigations.

“At this time, Pasadena Police Department investigators continue with their investigation and are not releasing further details on the murder of Kamryn Stone,” the LAPD’s press release said.

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Pop Smoke

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It was not immediately clear if those arrested Thursday had legal representation to comment on their behalf.

Captain Jonathan Tippet, who oversees the Los Angeles Police Department’s Robbery-Homicide Division, recently told the Associated Press that the suspects likely went to the rental home because they knew Jackson was staying at the property from social media posts.

“We believe that it was a robbery. Initially we didn’t really have the evidence, but then we discovered some other evidence that showed this was likely a home invasion gone bad,” he said.

Tippet said the suspects — including a 15-year-old and a 17-year-old — stole items from the home.

Though the suspects are believed to be members of a south Los Angeles gang, Tippet said neither Jackson or his entourage who were staying at the rental home are believed to be affiliated with the gang.

“It’s our belief that [the home-invasion robbery] was based on some of the social media” posts, Tippet said. “It’s based on the fact that he was posting his information may have contributed to him knowing where to find him.”

Pop Smoke
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Jackson was shot and killed on Feb. 19 at a Hollywood Hills home owned by Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Teddi Mellencamp Arroyave and her husband Edwin Arroyave.

At the time, authorities confirmed with PEOPLE that they responded to a call that came in at 4:29 a.m. when an unknown number of masked suspects entered a residence and shot a black male in his 20s. The victim was transported to a local hospital by the Los Angeles Fire Department where he was pronounced dead.

Jackson’s record label, Republic Records, confirmed his death in a statement, saying, “We are devastated by the unexpected and tragic loss of Pop Smoke. Our prayers and thoughts go out to his family, friends and fans, as we mourn this loss together.”

Mellencamp Arroyave later confirmed that a shooting had occurred at her rental property, though she did not specify that Jackson was the renter.

“Early this am we were informed by a 3rd party leasing and management company overseeing a rental home we own in Los Angeles that a shooting had taken place at the property,” the reality star wrote in an Instagram post.

RELATED VIDEO: Rapper Pop Smoke, 20, Reportedly Murdered in Alleged Home Invasion

“Foremost, we would like to extend our prayers and condolences to the family and loved ones affected by this tragic loss of life,” she added. “We aren’t aware of any of the details beyond what we’ve been told or seen reported on the news and at this time we would like to refrain from commenting further as we wish for the focus to remain on the law enforcement officers who are diligently doing their jobs.”

A Brooklyn native, Jackson found success last summer when Nicki Minaj appeared on the remix of his hit single “Welcome to the Party,” off his debut EP Meet the Woo.

His posthumous debut album, Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon, was released on Friday.

Anyone with information about Jackson’s killing is urged to call Los Angeles Police Department, Robbery-Homicide Division investigators at (213) 486-6860.