LOS ANGELES (AP) – Two men and two teenagers were charged with the death of up-and-coming rapper Pop Smoke, who was killed in a robbery in Los Angeles in February, the prosecutor said Monday.
Los Angeles district attorney Jackie Lacey said in a statement that Corey Walker and Keandre Rodgers were charged with murder committed while robbery and burglary was committed. The two boys, aged 15 and 17, were also charged with murder and robbery in the juvenile court. Their names have not been published due to their age.
The 20-year-old New York rapper, whose legal name is Bashar Barakah Jackson, was killed on February 19 in a house in the Hollywood Hills. An emergency call from a friend of someone in the house reported armed intruders to the house, the police said earlier.
19-year-old Walker and 18-year-old Rodgers could face death penalty or prison life if sentenced to death without parole. The charges for both men have been postponed to Tuesday.
Jaquan Murphy, 21, was also arrested in connection with the incident last week. The complaint includes gang and weapon allegations.
Captain Jonathan Tippet, who oversees the elite of the Los Angeles Police Department's Robbery-Homicide Division, said three men and two teenagers were likely to have gone home knowing that pop smoke from social media posts was there. They stole items from the house, although Tippet said he couldn't reveal what was taken.
All five are believed to be members of a gang in South Los Angeles that Tippet wouldn't call, and at least some of them are said to have been linked to a murder in 2019 as a fight to a Rose shootout Bowl escalated in Pasadena.
The authorities initially did not believe that the rapper's death was associated with a robbery. The house where the filming took place belongs to Edwin Arroyave and his wife Teddi Mellencamp, a star of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" and the daughter of the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer John Mellencamp.
Teddi Mellencamp previously said on Instagram that the couple had been informed of the shootout on their rental property but didn't know more than they saw in media reports.
Pop Smoke entered the rap scene in 2018 and broke out with "Welcome to the Party," a gangsta anthem boasting about shootings, murders, and drugs that became a huge sensation, and prompted Nicki Minaj, a verse on a remix to write.
Earlier this year, Pop Smoke released the mixtape “Meet the Woo 2”, which debuted at number 7 on the Billboard Top 200 album charts. It was the continuation of his first official release, "Meet the Woo". The rapper also had the popular hit "Gatti" with Travis Scott and Jackboys and "Dior".
His major label debut album, Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon, produced by 50 cents as an executive producer, recently topped the Billboard Top 200 album charts. It was published posthumously on July 3rd and contains mostly positive reviews and appearances by well-known artists such as Future, DaBaby and Quavo.
Pop Smoke was scheduled to begin a US tour in Washington DC on March 2nd.
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