LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Five suspects were arrested on Thursday in the killing of rap musician Pop Smoke, who was shot dead during a break-in and robbery of a Hollywood Hills home where he was staying at the time, the Los Angeles Police Department said.
The five - three adult men and two juvenile males - were taken into custody without incident in a series of early morning raids across Los Angeles, according to an LAPD spokeswoman, officer Norma Eisenman.
Investigators linked the Feb. 19 robbery and killing of the rapper to a Los Angeles street gang also implicated in the murder of an 18-year-old woman five months earlier in a Pasadena parking lot, police said in a statement Thursday night.
Police did not say whether the two killings were otherwise connected.
Pop Smoke, 20, whose real name was Bashar Barakah Jackson, was found by police shot inside a multimillion-dollar house he was renting during a visit to Los Angeles. He died hours later at a hospital.
Police at the time said they were responding to a reported predawn break-in at the house, where eyewitnesses said they saw two to six suspects, at least one wearing a mask.
The police statement identified the three men arrested as Corey Walker, 19, Jaquan Murphy, 21, and Keandre Rodgers, 18. Walker and Rodgers were booked on suspicion of murder, Murphy on suspicion of attempted murder. Bond was set at $1 million for each. The two juveniles arrested were not identified.
The rapper, a New York City native, was perhaps best known during his brief career for the July 2019 single “Welcome to the Party,” which many considered last year’s song of the summer. A remix released months later featured rapper Nicki Minaj.
The Los Angeles City News Service said Jackson was reported to have posted photos on social media hours before his killing from a party at the home revealing the property address, with one picture of a person holding a large sum of money.
Reporting by Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles; additional reporting and writing by Steve Gorman in Eureka, Calif.; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall and Mark Heinrich