HOUSTON — A 33-year-old man has been arrested on murder charges in the shooting of rapper Takeoff, who was an “innocent bystander” when he was struck by gunfire outside a bowling alley in Houston on Friday, according to police.
Patrick Xavier Clark was peacefully taken into custody Thursday night, Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said. Clark’s arrest came a day after another man was charged in connection with the Nov. 1 shooting, which authorities said followed a dispute over a dice game that left two other people injured.
Clark was held in jail on Friday awaiting a hearing. Court documents don’t list a lawyer who could speak for him, but indicate he was arrested as he prepared to leave the country for Mexico.
Born Kirsnick Khari Ball, Takeoff was the youngest member of Migos, the Grammy-nominated rap trio from the Atlanta suburbs that also included his uncle Quavo and cousin Offset.
The 28-year-old musician was gunned down outside the downtown bowling alley at around 2:30am, as police said a dispute broke out as more than 30 people left a private party there. Police previously said another man and a woman suffered non-life-threatening gunshot wounds and at least two people opened fire.
police sergeant Michael Burrow said at a press conference Friday that the gunfire followed a disagreement over a “lucrative” dice game, but that Takeoff was not involved and was “an innocent bystander.” Finner said police don’t know if Clark was invited to the party or if he knew Takeoff.
Everyone at the scene left without talking to police, Burrow said. Some of those people have since been tracked down by authorities, who also worked to piece together events using ballistics, video and audio recordings, according to Burrow. He said detectives are still trying to track down witnesses.
“We’ll look for you,” he said. “It will be easier if you come find us.”
On Wednesday, authorities announced the arrest of Cameron Joshua in connection with the shooting. Joshua was charged with illegally possessing a gun at the time Takeoff was shot, but prosecutors said the 22-year-old is not believed to have fired the gun. Christopher Downey, Joshua’s attorney, told reporters he has seen nothing to suggest his client was involved in Takeoff’s murder.
Burrow said investigators believe it was Clark’s gunfire that killed the rapper.
Prosecutors on Friday asked a court to set Clark’s bail at $1 million, arguing he poses a flight risk. After the Takeoff shooting, Clark applied for an expedited passport by submitting the itinerary for an “upcoming” flight to Mexico, according to court documents. They say he was arrested the day he received the passport and was in possession of a “large amount” of cash.
Fans and other artists, including Drake and Justin Bieber, celebrated Takeoff’s musical legacy at a memorial service in Atlanta last month.
Migos’ record label, Quality Control, mourned Takeoff’s death in a statement on Instagram that it attributed to “senseless violence”.
Migos first broke through with the massive hit “Versace” in 2013. They had four Top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, though Takeoff failed to appear on their multi-week No. 1 hit “Bad and Boujee” featuring Lil Uzi Vert was standing. They released a trilogy of albums called “Culture”, “Culture II” and “Culture III”, the first two of which reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album chart.
Takeoff never released a solo record, but in the weeks before his death, he and Quavo released “Only Built for Infinity Links”. Takeoff hoped the collaborative album would foster respect for his lyrical skills, telling the “Drink Champs” podcast, “It’s time to give me my flowers.”
When Clark’s arrest was announced Friday, Takeoff’s voice was heard again, heard on “Feel The Fiyaaaah” alongside A$AP Rocky on Metro Boomin’s album released that day, “Heroes and Villains.”
He sang, “It’s quiet in the street now.”
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