By Terrance Turner
November 1, 2022 (updated Dec. 2)
Houston Police Chief Troy Finner says that Houston Police have arrested and charged a man in connection with the fatal shooting of rapper Takeoff.
Patrick Xavier Clark, 33, was arrested last night, one month to the day after the shooting. He’s charged with murder.
Rapper Takeoff (member of the rap trio Migos) was shot and killed on Nov. 1, outside a bowling alley in Houston. He was 28.
The shooting occurred around 2:35 am on the balcony outside 810 Bowling & Billiards, located at 1201 San Jacinto, in downtown Houston. (The bowling alley is on the third floor of the GreenStreet shopping mall). A private event was held there that night, according to Sgt. Michael Arrington.
The party reportedly ended at 1 a.m. and most of the 40 or 50 attendees had left the building by the time someone pulled a gun and started firing, according to Arrington. The shooting reportedly came after a dispute over a dice game.
Another sergeant confirmed that report. There was a “lucrative dice game” during the event, followed by an argument outside the venue, Houston Police Sgt. Michael Burrow said during today’s briefing.
“I can tell you Takeoff was not involved in playing the dice game; he was not involved in the argument that happened outside. He was not armed,” Burrow said. “He was an innocent bystander.”
Officials said dozens of people gathered on a balcony outside of the bowling alley, which is on the third floor. Arrington said that’s where officers located the man’s body, as well as multiple shell casings. Takeoff died from gunshot wounds to the head and neck, per NBC News. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Investigators determined that Clark was the shooter through shooting reconstruction and ballistics evidence, Burrow said. Police have also obtained cellphone and surveillance footage that “surfaced over time,” he said.
Two other people were shot, but reportedly have non life-threatening injuries. They were driven to the hospital in private vehicles, according to KHOU. Their identities weren’t released.
According to the Houston Chronicle, “Security guards were in the area and some people heard gunfire around 2:35 a.m., but no one saw who fired the shots, said Lt. Ronnie Wilkins of the Houston Police Department.”
“A lot of folks were there,” he said. “They were in front of the bar. The bar was closed at the time, but people were congregating out on the balcony area. Everybody fled.”
Police say virtually none of those people have come forward. Anyone with information about the shooting can leave a tip anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.
Life and Career
Takeoff was born Kirshnik Khari Ball in Lawrenceville, Georgia, in 1994. Raised with Quavo – his uncle, but only three years older than him – by Quavo’s mother Edna, he began rapping from an early age. According to the Guardian, he formed a group with his uncle Quavo and cousin Offset in 2008. They initially were known as the Polo Club. But in 2011, they released their debut mixtape as Migos. (The name derives from “The Three Amigos.”)
According to the New York Times:
The trio came to the notice of the local executives Pierre Thomas (known as P) and Kevin Lee (Coach K), who founded a label, Quality Control, around the trio in 2013. Already, Migos had fallen under the tutelage of the local rapper and talent scout Gucci Mane, who had heard the group’s early track “Bando,” and signed them to a cash deal.
With Gucci Mane in prison, P and Coach K became the group’s primary boosters. Musically, it was Takeoff who first drew P’s attention with his bouncy, melodic triplet raps that the executive said reminded him of the ’90s group Bone Thugs-n-Harmony.
“The music was crazy,” P later said, “but what made me really want to go hard for them is that they packed all their clothes and moved into the studio — literally lived there, sleeping on reclining chairs and making music all day.”From NYT article
In an interview with The Fader, Takeoff described the group’s process. He said the group would make about “seven songs a day,” spending no more than 15 minutes on each track. Working on a song for any longer “kills the vibe,” Takeoff said. “You gotta have fun with a song, make somebody laugh,” he added. “You gotta have character.”
The process worked. The group’s single “Versace” cracked the Billboard Hot 100. And its popularity grew when rapper Drake remixed the song. But the group truly took off three years later.
On October 28, 2016, Migos released their single “Bad & Bougee,” a trap anthem about making money and spending time with women who have expensive taste. It’s a collaboration with rapper Lil Uzi Vert. A series of memes inspired by its lyrics helped the song peak at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 the week of January 21, 2017, making it the first number one single for both Migos and Lil Uzi Vert.
A week later, Migos released its album Culture. The album hit No. 1 on Billboard’s album chart. It topped the rap charts in February. By summer, Culture had gone platinum. It became part of a trilogy: Culture II came out in late January 2018. It debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard chart. Migos scored its second number-one album.
The lead single “MotorSport” hit No. 6 on the Hot 100. Migos collaborated with rappers Cardi B and Nicki Minaj on the track. They also collaborated on a memorable video: