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Houston police are searching for witnesses after rapper Takeoff's killing

Rappers Offset (from left), Quavo and Takeoff of the group Migos appear at a Met gala in 2018. Kirshnik Khari Ball, known professionally as Takeoff, died early Tuesday morning after gunshots were fired at a party in Houston.
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Rappers Offset (from left), Quavo and Takeoff of the group Migos appear at a Met gala in 2018. Kirshnik Khari Ball, known professionally as Takeoff, died early Tuesday morning after gunshots were fired at a party in Houston.

Houston police are looking for witnesses in Tuesday's fatal shooting of 28-year-old rapper Takeoff.

Kirshnik Khari Ball, known professionally as Takeoff, rose to stardom as one of three members of Grammy-nominated rap group Migos. Ball died early Tuesday morning after gunshots were fired following a party at a Houston bowling alley.

"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?" Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said at a Tuesday news conference. "You would want somebody to step up. So please step up and get the information to us so we can bring some closure to this family that is hurting."

Finner said Ball was the sole victim of the shooting at around 2:30 a.m. after a party at 810 Billiards & Bowling, a Houston bowling alley.

The authorities described a chaotic scene. "A lot of the people that there were there fled the scene and did not stick around to give a statement," police Sgt. Michael Arrington said. He asked witnesses to call the authorities, including anonymously, and share photos or videos of the incident.

Two other people who attended the party — a 23-year-old male, and a 24-year-old female who sustained non-life threatening injuries — spoke with police, according to Arrington.

"We are looking for anything to help us," he added.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner echoed the police's desire to arrest and press charges against the shooter. He said he would continue his efforts to "make our city a safer city."

The mayor and the police department issued a joint statement in May saying the city's homicide rate was on the decline. At the time, there were 187 reported homicides compared to 192 during the same period a year earlier.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre issued a statement on Tuesday following news of Takeoff's death, as well as recent shootings in New Jersey, Chicago and Kansas City. Jean-Pierre said that the Biden administration would continue to work on reducing gun violence "by calling on Congress to increase community violence intervention funding, ensure universal background checks, and send legislation to [Biden's] desk banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines."

"It is with broken hearts and deep sadness that we mourn the loss of our beloved brother Kirshnik Khari Ball, known to the world as Takeoff," Migos' record label, Quality Control, said in a statement. "Senseless violence and a stray bullet has taken another life from this world and we are devastated."

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Giulia Heyward
Giulia Heyward is a weekend reporter for Digital News, based out of New York. She previously covered education and other national news as a reporting fellow at The New York Times and as the national education reporter at Capital B News. She interned for POLITICO, where she covered criminal justice reform in Florida, and CNN, as a writer for the trends & culture team. Her work has also been published in The Atlantic, HuffPost and The New Republic.
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