HOUSTON — Five years ago, TakeOff was up for two Grammy Awards.
Now, the rapper is dead. Someone has been charged in connection with his death but there are still a lot of questions left unanswered.
KHOU 11 Investigates took a deep dive into the case, going through court documents, social media and eyewitness accounts to better understand what happened. We’ve also learned investigators have recovered three guns during the investigation, but they still don’t have the actual murder weapon.
It was a private party in the heart of Houston with a very exclusive crowd. Instagram videos cited in search warrants documented the night. In one video, Migos rappers TakeOff and Quavo, along with other partygoers, are seen heading to the party in a red convertible with a gun in the front seat.
The party was thrown by J. Prince downtown at 810 Billiards and Bowling on Nov. 1, 2022, according to police and noted in search warrant affidavits. In an email, a lawyer for Prince said, “the venue was not reserved by J. Prince on the night of the occurrence. Neither Mr. Prince nor any entity affiliated with him paid for the venue, nor was this an event thrown in his honor. J. Prince did not attend the event, and was not present at any point throughout the night and was not in the vicinity when the shooting occurred.”
"Fans across the country, we feel robbed, we feel hurt, we feel confused, and we want somebody to find out who did this," Migos fan Tatiana Battle said to KHOU 11 News after TakeOff was killed.
What happened that night ended up all over social media. According to search warrants, witnesses told police that a dice game involving a lot of money, “in excess of $100,000,” led to an argument that ended with shots fired. Police included a timeline in search warrants.
- 1 a.m. – Bowling alley staff members told police they tried closing but had difficulty getting everyone outside.
- 2 a.m. – A large group gathered near the front doors.
- 2:34 a.m. – TakeOff was shot twice -- once in the head and once in the back.
“It was after hours. We got there maybe 12 or 1 o’clock because we had been to a few places," Sydney Leday said.
She was one of two other people who were shot and injured that night. It was Halloween night and she shared a picture with KHOU 11 News that she took before the shooting.
“I felt the sting in the back of my head. I felt myself falling and the person I was with picked me up,” Leday said.
The challenging thing about the crime scene is it happened on the third floor. When the shooting happened, people started running in every direction. Leday said after she was shot, she ran down an escalator to get to a car that was parked on the street to take her to the hospital.
In the chaos, no one understood why TakeOff was killed.
“Definitely wrong place at the wrong time,” Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said.
Investigators said TakeOff was not involved in the dice game or the argument outside that led to the shooting. According to search warrants, there were 34 people in the crowd outside, 10 shell casings were found and investigators identified two shooters.
Patrick Clark, also known as “DJ Pat,” who is a known associate of J. Prince, was arrested based on video evidence. Police seized two guns from him, but neither matched the caliber that killed TakeOff, according to search warrants. A second shooter didn’t hit anyone and was searched and interviewed by police but has not been arrested.
Another man, Cameron Joshua, was arrested for felon in possession of a firearm. Police said he was seen on video with a gun, but never firing. It's unclear who shot Leday.
“I can really just say I’m grateful to be here," Leday said.
The investigation is still ongoing. There’s still a lot to learn about what happened, but police have said TakeOff was not the intended target. Clark is due back in court next month.
2/13 Editor's note: This story has been updated to clarify that the information regarding J. Prince hosting the party is from police and noted in multiple search warrant affidavits.