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Rapper Pop Smoke died of gunshot wound to the torso, coroner says

Hannah Fry, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

LOS ANGELES -- Pop Smoke, an up-and-coming rapper who was gunned down inside a posh home in the Hollywood Hills last week, died of a gunshot wound to the torso, according to the Los Angeles County coroner's office.

Police responded to the $2.5 million home in the 2000 block of Hercules Drive after a phone call from someone reporting that several people, including one wearing a mask and armed with a handgun, burst into the property shortly before 5 a.m. Wednesday, police said.

When they arrived, officers found the 20-year-old rapper, whose legal name is Bashar Barakah Jackson, wounded by gunfire. He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. At least four suspects fled the scene, and authorities say they have not been found.

Investigators suspect the home where the rapper was staying was targeted by the assailants. In recent years, Los Angeles residences being rented by musicians have been the target of several home invasions, according to law enforcement sources.

Investigators are aware that the rapper, or a member of his entourage, may have inadvertently posted an image with the home's address on social media, the sources said.

Photos and videos on Pop Smoke's Instagram story showed him in L.A. getting a haircut Tuesday and posing by the infinity pool in the backyard of the Hollywood Hills home where he was staying. Later that evening, he posted a photo of the Los Angeles skyline from what appeared to be the home's backyard.

At one point, the rapper or a member of his group uploaded a photo of a black gift bag tagged with his Hollywood Hills address. Another photo showed him posing by a white Range Rover with the address of the home partly visible in the background.

The rapper's death came days after his second mixtape, "Meet the Woo 2," debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard Top 200 list. His breakthrough mixtape, "Meet the Woo," released last year, has 280 million streams globally.

 

Pop Smoke was signed to Republic Records through Victor Victor Worldwide, according to the label.

"We are devastated by the unexpected and tragic loss of Pop Smoke," a Republic Records spokesperson said last week. "Our prayers and thoughts go out to his family, friends and fans, as we mourn this loss together."

(Times staff writer Richard Winton contributed to this report.)

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