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Houston man charged with murder for shooting of Migos rapper Takeoff

An argument over a high-stakes dice game led to the killing of Takeoff, an innocent bystander, Houston police said.

HOUSTON (CN) — Houston police Friday announced the arrest of a murder suspect in the Nov. 1 shooting death of rap artist Takeoff and warned the more than 30 witnesses who fled the scene authorities will track them down if they do not voluntarily give statements about what transpired.

Houston Police Chief Troy Finner revealed at a news conference Friday his officers had arrested Patrick Xavier Clark, 33, Thursday night on a felony murder charge.

Finner said it was a case of “wrong place, wrong time” for Kirshnik Khari Ball, 28, who was publicly known as Takeoff, part of the chart-topping and Grammy-nominated rap group Migos with his uncle and cousin. They were all raised together by Takeoff’s mom in suburban Atlanta.

Takeoff was at a private birthday party at a bowling alley in downtown Houston in the early morning of Nov. 1.

“There was a lucrative dice game that went on at the event,” HPD Homicide Division Sgt. Michael Burrow told reporters Friday. “There was an argument that happened afterwards outside the bowling alley, which led to the shooting. I can tell you that Takeoff was not involved in playing the dice game. He was not involved in the argument that happened outside. He was not armed. He was an innocent bystander.”

His autopsy showed he died of gunshot wounds to his head and torso. Bullets hit two other people at the party and they were hospitalized with noncritical injuries, authorities said.

Burrow credited forensic lab technicians who analyzed shell casings, technicians who canvassed the scene for fingerprints and reconstructed the shooting and detectives who combed through a large amount of surveillance footage to identify Clark as the suspected gunman.

The homicide sergeant said HPD also knows how many people were standing outside the bowling alley’s third-floor entrance when shots rang out — "we have an exact number, but we aren’t going to put that out” — and none of them have yet to willingly cooperate with the investigation.

“Literally every single one of those people left the scene without giving a statement to police. We found a few of them that night. We found others since then. But it’s important that those people come forward,” he said.

Clark’s is HPD’s second arrest in the case. They arrested Cameron Joshua, 22, on Nov. 22 after learning he had a gun on the scene and he is a felon barred from possessing firearms.

Chief Finner said there could be more arrests and he also urged witnesses to come forward: “Don’t let the fear paralyze you. Step up and say something and we’re all better and safer because of that.”

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner lamented the young age of both Takeoff and Clark, and bemoaned gun violence that disproportionately impacts young Black men.

“People are dying for little or no reason. And people are reaching for a deadly firearm to settle sometimes a minor disagreement. … There are too many young men of color who are killing other young men of color and that has to stop,” he said.

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