Pop Smoke, the fast-emerging drill rapper who lost his life during an attempted robbery at a rented home in Los Angeles last year, was fatally shot by a 15-year-old, a detective testified in court on Friday. The juvenile was also the youngest among the four robbers who participated in the February 19 home invasion.
Los Angeles Police Department Detective Carlos Camacho told the court the suspects invaded the Brooklyn rapper’s Airbnb rental in Hollywood Hills with the intention of robbing him of his Cuban link chain. They, however, only managed to steal his diamond-studded Rolex watch, later reselling it for $2,000, New York Daily News reported.
The investigator testified the teen, who faces a slew of murder and robbery charges, acknowledged his involvement in the robbery during a conversation with a cellmate at the juvenile detention center he was being kept after his arrest.
“He admitted that he shot the victim three times with a Baretta 9 (mm.),” LAPD Det. Camacho told the court, adding that the conversation in question was recorded. Camacho’s testimony on Friday was for the preliminary hearing of Corey Walker, one of the four suspects in the robbery incident. The 20-year-old was also the only adult among the group.
Camacho testified the 15-year-old “admitted that they asked for the jewelry” and also got into “a confrontation” with the 20-year-old rapper. “They got into a fight, and he shot him three times,” the detective said. “He said he shot him on the back.”
The detective also told the court that Walker similarly admitted his involvement in the fatal incident during a conversation with an informant he was sharing a cell with. That discussion was also recorded. In that conversation, Camacho said Walker described how the events unfolded, adding that the suspect also revealed they used ski masks, gloves and a police scanner to avoid traces of evidence, New York Daily News reported.
“He said that when the individuals got inside, the suspects confronted (Pop Smoke), who was in the shower naked,” Camacho told the court.
Camacho also testified Walker had told the informant that the Welcome to the Party rapper, born Bashar Barakah Jackson, was initially co-operative during the robbery but later “rushed” them, causing him to be “pistol-whipped” before he was shot multiple times by the 15-year-old suspect.
Walker has, however, pleaded not guilty. His attorney, Christopher Darden, on Friday also attempted having the murder charges against him dropped, arguing that his client was only a driver during the robbery and was outside the entire time. The lawyer also argued Walker told the other teenage robbers not to open fire. Darden’s motion was dismissed by the judge on the grounds that there is “sufficient cause” to go ahead with the trial.
The deceased rapper’s parents attended the Friday hearing and they visibly reacted to certain portions of the testimonies that were given, including the amount the watch was sold for and their son being kicked by the robbers even after he was shot. His mother said she was unaware of those details up until then.
“I didn’t know any of this. It’s all new. I just knew my boy was gone,” a reportedly emotional Audrey Jackson told the news outlet. “Now it really feels like he’s not coming back.”
“I don’t know what I thought being here would do. I thought something would happen that would help me feel differently. But to hear they kicked him when he was down. It’s so disrespectful and dishonorable. There was no honor in this. And the irony in this is that those same kids are the kids he said he made music for,” she said.
“There need to be consequences, sufficient consequences,” Jackson added. “But as a people, we have work to do. Our children are killing each other. This just makes absolutely no sense to me.”
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles County district attorney said Walker could be sentenced to death if he is found guilty.