5 people arrested in connection to murder of rapper Pop Smoke

The rapper was killed during a home invasion in February. Three adult males and two juvenile males have been taken into custody, police said.
Image: Pop Smoke
Rapper Pop Smoke performs in Los Angeles on Dec. 15, 2019.Scott Dudelson / Getty Images file

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By Minyvonne Burke and Phil Helsel

Five people were arrested in connection to the death of rapper Pop Smoke, who was killed during a home invasion in February.

Three adult males and two juvenile males have been taken into custody, the Los Angeles Police Department tweeted Thursday.

The LAPD later identified three adults arrested as Corey Walker, 19, and Keandre Rodgers, 18, both of whom have been booked on a murder charge; and Jaquan Murphy, 21, who has been booked on an attempted murder charge.

The rapper, whose real name was Bashar Jackson, was fatally shot after multiple people broke into a Hollywood Hills home. He was 20-years-old.

Police received a call just before 5 a.m. on Feb. 19 from someone on the East Coast who said a friend inside the home contacted them saying that the home had been broken into and that one of the intruders had a handgun.

The LAPD said Thursday that around 4 a.m., several people entered the short-term rental in Hollywood Hills where Jackson had been staying on a visit to Los Angeles.

"The suspects robbed and shot Jackson inside the residence, killing him," the LAPD statement says.

The Brooklyn-born rapper collaborated on songs with artists such as Nicki Minaj, JackBoys, and Travis Scott. His posthumous album, “Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon," was released on Friday and was executive produced by rapper 50 Cent.

Jackson's manager, Steven Victor, opened up last week about 50 Cent pushing for the album to be completed.

"50 was like, 'You can't be depressed and stop the legacy that he was building.' He was like, 'You have to do the opposite, you have to go toward it, you have to finish the album,'" Victor told Rap Life host Ebro Darden. "And then on top of that he was like, 'How do you expect everyone around him, in terms of his family, to benefit off of all the work that he put in? It would almost be like everything happened in vain if you don't put the album out.'"

Jackson was the son of Panamanian and Jamaican parents and told Genius that "Pop Smoke" was born of a combination of "Papa," which his Panamanian grandma used call him, and "Smoke Oh Guap," a nickname his friends gave him.

In its statement about the rapper's murder, the LAPD also referenced members of a Los Angeles street gang and the killing of another man, Kamryn Stone, 18, who was slain in a Rose Bowl parking lot in Pasadena on Sept. 14.

"During the course of the investigation, it was revealed that members of a Los Angeles street gang were involved in the murder of Jackson; as well as the murder of 18-year-old Kamryn Stone," the LAPD statement said, adding that the LAPD and Pasadena police investigators worked together on the investigation.

It was not clear from the statement whether some or any of the five apprehended in connection with the rapper's killing are also believed involved in Stone's death.

The LAPD did not release any more details about the killing of Stone, and they said Pasadena police are continuing in their investigation.

Pasadena police said in a statement at the time of Stone's killing that officers responded to call of a physical altercation and shots fired at 11:22 p.m. that night. They found Stone and another person shot. The other victim survived.

Walker, Murphy and Rodgers were being held in lieu of $1 million bail Thursday night, according to online jail records. Their cases did not appear to be in online court records late Thursday, and it was not immediately clear if they had attorneys who could speak on their behalf.