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UPDATE - Murdered rapper Pop Smoke was kicked on ground after being shot: Court hears
Rapper, Pop Smoke was taking a shower at an Airbnb in Los Angeles last year
when masked men stormed through the curtains of a second-story balcony to kill him, a Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) detective has testified.
Pop Smoke was a fast-rising rap star known for his raspy voice and trap-influenced beats when he died at age 20, just weeks away from finishing his debut studio album.
Speaking in court on Thursday, May 6, Detective Christian Carrasco said one intruder allegedly pressed a black semiautomatic firearm to the forehead of a woman who was with the entertainer in his bedroom that night while the others rushed into the adjoining bathroom.
“Shut the f--k up. Do you want to die?” the heavily armed home invader allegedly shouted at the woman, the detective said.
Carrasco was the first person to take the witness stand at the preliminary hearing for Corey Walker in Los Angeles that will decide whether the sole adult suspect (Walker) in the case proceeds to trial.
Walker, 20, has been charged with murder and robbery in the Feb. 19, 2020 killing of the popular entertainer, who was born Bashar Barakah Jackson. He has pleaded not guilty and appeared in court Thursday .
The woman who was with Pop Smoke the day he died spoke to police hours after the rapper was fatally shot in the torso during the 4 a.m. home invasion at the rented mansion in the Hollywood Hills, Carrasco said.
“She heard a struggle coming from the shower area and heard Mr. Jackson screaming. Mr. Jackson ran out of the bathroom and then she heard a loud pop and [heard] Mr. Jackson fall to the ground,” the detective said.
“Two other individuals began to kick him,” Carrasco said, citing the woman’s testimony.
Upon hearing her son was kicked, Jackson’s mother Audrey Jackson, who was present in the courtroom, shook her head and leaned forward, finding it hard to hide her grief.
She stared intently at Walker as the detective continued to describe what the witness claimed happened next.
“Mr. Jackson gets up and runs downstairs. She hears two more pops,” the detective said on the witness stand. “She follows Mr. Jackson, sees him on the ground and screams for Michael (Durodola) to call 911.”
The woman told police she believed the men stole Jackson’s “large gold watch” and other jewelry before fleeing.
A second LAPD detective, Det. Frank Flores testified Thursday that the license plate of the Infinity caught on surveillance video delivering the suspects to the scene traced back to Walker.
Flores said Walker had purchased the car from a seller and been stopped in it for an unrelated matter just before the murder.
Doctors rushed Jackson into a major surgery called a “left thoracotomy,” but he suffered a “rapid” decline and couldn’t be saved, his death certificate said.
Before the murder, Pop Smoke had posted images on social media showing both the rental home’s address and a large amount of cash.
The planned two-day hearing in the murder case is expected to cover the testimony prosecutors consider sufficient to convince a judge Walker should face trial.
Walker is the only adult in the case after a judge determined the three other suspects were minors at the time of Pop Smoke’s slaying.
If convicted as charged, he could face the death penalty, the Los Angeles County district attorney said.
After Smoke's murder, 50 Cent stepped in to finish Pop Smoke’s album for Victor Victor Worldwide and Republic Records.
When “Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon” album dropped in July, it debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with fellow rap stars Roddy Ricch, DaBaby, Lil Baby, Future, Quavo and Swae Lee listed as guest performers.