Pop Smoke's murder was 'targeted hit' and not 'bungled robbery', fans feel online posts gave away his location
The budding rapper had shared a video of himself uncovering expensive gift bags with tags that revealed the address
Rapper Pop Smoke tragically died on the morning of February 19 after he was fatally shot during an apparent home invasion in Hollywood Hills, California. However, some of his fans are now speculating whether he had become a target following his final social media posts that exposed his location.
The 20-year-old budding rapper, real name Bashar Jackson, took to Facebook Tuesday night to share a video of himself uncovering expensive gift bags with tags that revealed the address of the home where he was staying. This led some to wonder whether the post was used by the killer to find his location.
"So Pop smoke put his address up and this morning someone robbed and killed him?" one person tweeted. "This is not normal, that baby didn't even start life yet!"
This comes as the Los Angeles Police Department did not confirm whether Pop Smoke was the victim of a home invasion. Furthermore, multiple sources familiar with the case noted how police are yet to establish a motive. And while the rapper has been described as a gang member in court documents, it is yet to be understood whether that played a part in the shootout, sources told NBC.
Around 4.55 am on February 19, dispatch received a call from someone on the East Coast who said a friend inside the residence had told them multiple people had broken in and that one of them had a handgun.
According to Capt. Steven Lurie of the police department's Hollywood Division, one person in the home was shot and taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where doctors pronounced him dead "hours later".
"The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star Teddi Mellencamp, singer John Mellencamp's daughter, was connected to the neighborhood via public records. She confirmed to police there had been a shooting at the location.
The night before the shooting, Pop Smoke's friend Mike Dee also posted to Instagram. The post had pictures of the pair outside the house, which bears the number of the address and was visible in the images. According to some, the post could have made Jackson more vulnerable.
On the other hand, many said this is mere 'victim-blaming'.
"Y'all victim-blaming Pop Smoke because he.....posted his address??" one user wrote. "These must be the same folks who think black men deserve to be shot/killed for wearing hoodies after dark...or women are asking to be raped because they dress provocatively."
"We know where hundreds of celebrities live and they haven't gotten robbed and murdered the day after," another tweeted. "Pop Smoke didn't do s--- to himself."
Authorities have not connected Pop Smoke's social media posts to the home invasion as yet, but some people interpreted the shooting as a cautionary tale nonetheless.
"Pop Smoke posted his address on social media and few hours later he was murdered, this shows how careful we gotta be with whatever we share for the world to see," one person tweeted. "Not everyone wants to see you win in life."
A TMZ report also speculated whether Pop Smoke's death was a robbery gone wrong or a targeted hit job considering surveillance video evidence.
Sources who viewed the footage told the outlet that four men approached the home around 4.30 am and snuck around the back.
While three of them walked along the side of the home to the front, the fourth apparently walked in through the backdoor outside the purview of the cameras. He is only seen later on when he exits through the front door of the house, per the outlet.
While initially it might have seemed like a robbery owing to the social media posts, the report noted how the person inside the house -- presumably the shooter -- did not carry anything out.
Pop Smoke was only 20 and was already making waves in the music industry. His song, 'Welcome to the Party' was remixed by Nicki Minaj and he also appeared on Travis Scott's latest project 'JACKBOYS'. What's more? The tragic rapper's album charted #7 on February 18 on the Billboard 200.