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Man charged with murder following shooting death of rapper Takeoff

A 33-year-old man was arrested on a murder charge in the shooting of rapper Takeoff, who police on Friday said was an 'innocent bystander' when he was struck by gunfire outside a Houston bowling alley last month.

33-year-old arrested in connection with rapper's death last month in Houston

A young man with long black dreadlocks, a frayed denim jacket, and sparkly, round purple sunglasses stands outside, looking toward the sky.
Takeoff, of the hip-hop trio Migos, performs onstage during the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas on Sept. 23, 2017. Houston police announced Friday that a 33-year-old man has been charged with murder in connection with Takeoff's death last month. (Bryan Steffy/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)

A 33-year-old man was arrested on a murder charge in the shooting of rapper Takeoff, who police on Friday said was an "innocent bystander" when he was struck by gunfire outside a Houston bowling alley.

Patrick Xavier Clark was taken into custody peacefully on Thursday night, Houston police Chief Troy Finner said. Clark's arrest came one day after another man was charged in connection with the Nov. 1 shooting, which authorities said followed a dispute over a dice game and wounded two other people.

Clark was being held in jail on Friday awaiting a bond hearing. Court records do not list a lawyer who could speak for him but indicate he was arrested as he was preparing to leave the country for Mexico.

Born Kirsnick Khari Ball, Takeoff was the youngest member of Migos, a Grammy-nominated rap trio from suburban Atlanta that also featured his uncle Quavo and cousin Offset.

The 28-year-old musician was one of three people police said were shot outside the downtown Houston bowling alley at about 2:30 a.m. on Nov. 1, when a dispute erupted as about 40 people were leaving a private party.

Police have said another man and a woman suffered non-life-threatening gunshot injuries during the shooting, in which at least two people opened fire.

Police Sgt. Michael Burrow said during a Friday news conference that the shooting followed a dispute over a "lucrative" game of dice but that Takeoff was not involved and was "an innocent bystander." Finner said police do not know whether Clark was invited to the party or if he knew Takeoff.

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Every person on the scene left without talking to police, Burrow said. Some of those people have since been located by the authorities, who have also worked to piece together events with ballistics, video and audio recordings, according to Burrow. He said investigators are still trying to track down witnesses.

"We will be looking to find you," he said. "It will be easier if you come find us."

Second man arrested in shooting

On Wednesday, authorities announced the arrest of Cameron Joshua in connection with the shooting. Joshua was charged with illegally having a gun at the time Takeoff was shot, but prosecutors said the 22-year-old is not believed to have fired the weapon. Christopher Downey, Joshua's lawyer, told reporters that he has not seen anything to suggest that his client was involved in Takeoff's killing.

Burrow said that investigators believe it was Clark's gunfire that killed the rapper.

Prosecutors on Friday asked a court to set Clark's bond at $1 million US, arguing he is a flight risk. After Takeoff's shooting, Clark applied for an expedited passport by submitting the itinerary for an "imminent" flight to Mexico, according to court records. They say he was arrested the day he received the passport and was in possession of a "large amount" of cash.

From left, Quavo, Offset and Takeoff are shown in Cleveland on Feb. 19, 2022 during the NBA All-Star weekend. The rap group first broke through with the massive hit Versace in 2013. (Arturo Holmes/Getty Images)

Migos's record label, Quality Control, mourned Takeoff's death in a statement posted on Instagram that attributed it to "senseless violence." 

Fans and other performers, including Drake and Justin Bieber, celebrated Takeoff's musical legacy in a memorial service last month in Atlanta.

Migos first broke through with the massive hit Versace in 2013. The group had four Top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, though Takeoff was not on its multi-week No. 1 hit Bad and Boujee, featuring Lil Uzi Vert. The rappers put out a trilogy of albums called Culture, Culture II and Culture III, with the first two hitting No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album chart.

In the weeks before his death, Takeoff — who released the solo album The Last Rocket in 2018 — and Quavo put out Only Built for Infinity Links. Takeoff hoped the joint album with Quavo would build respect for his lyrical abilities, telling the Drink Champs podcast, "It's time to give me my flowers."

As Clark's arrest was announced on Friday, Takeoff's voice could again be heard, featured on Feel The Fiyaaaah alongside A$AP Rocky on Metro Boomin's album Heroes and Villains, which was released that day.

He sang, "It's quiet right now in the streets."

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