Pop Smoke, born Bashar Barakah Jackson, was one of the fastest rising rappers in recent memory when he was murdered in February 2020 at the age of 20. The Brooklyn drill star’s music has continued to become more exponentially popular since then, with debut album Shoot For The Stars, Aim For The Moon spinning off radio hit after radio hit. His death was a huge loss for hip-hop, and details from new police testimony make it feel even more tragic.
Five people were arrested last summer in connection with Pop Smoke’s death. At the time police said masked intruders had stormed his Airbnb in Los Angeles and shot him to death. As the New York Daily News reports, LAPD detective Carlos Camacho testified Friday that the shooter was 15 years old.
According to Camacho’s testimony — given in a preliminary hearing for a separate suspect in the investigation, 20-year-old Corey Walker, who is being defended by former O.J. Simpson prosecutor Christopher Darden — the attackers targeted Pop Smoke with the intention of stealing the diamond-studded Rolex they’d seen him wearing in social media posts, which they later sold for $2,000. The detective said Pop Smoke was showering when the suspects entered his Airbnb at 4AM, and that he complied with their requests at first but was shot dead when he rushed at the suspects. Camacho said both the alleged shooter and Walker, who was waiting in a car outside, confessed to the killing in secretly recorded conversations with informants in jail.
It’s always wise to be skeptical of the official police narrative, but it’s also worth noting that Camacho was testifying under oath here. If this is how it went down, it makes an already sad story feel that much more terrible.