The tragic death of rapper Pop Smoke shook the music world in 2020, and now a young man has come forward to admit his role in the crime. On Friday, an 18-year-old confessed to fatally shooting the rapper during a home-invasion robbery in the Hollywood Hills area.
The young man, who was just 15 at the time of the crime, admitted to first-degree murder charges and to personally and intentionally discharging a firearm during the robbery. He also pleaded guilty to home-invasion robbery.
Due to his age at the time of the crime, the young man cannot be charged as an adult and is expected to be held in a state juvenile facility until he turns 25. The judge at the hearing, J. Christopher Smith, reminded both the young man and his 19-year-old co-defendant that they had caused immense pain and urged them to “make better choices” going forward.
The other two defendants, both of whom admitted to charges of manslaughter and home invasion robbery in April, will also be held in juvenile custody until they turn 25. The names of the defendants have not been released due to their ages at the time of the crime.
Pop Smoke, whose real name was Bashar Jackson, was found fatally wounded in a short-term rental home in the Hollywood Hills in February 2020. He was just 20 years old at the time of his death. The suspects in the crime, who were wearing masks, were last seen running from the scene and possibly getting into a nearby vehicle.
Pop Smoke’s death was a huge loss for the music industry, as he had just released an album and was rapidly gaining popularity. He was named top new artist, top rap artist, and top male rap artist at the 2021 Billboard Music Awards, and his album, “Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon,” won top rap album and top Billboard 200 album.
While the young man’s guilty plea will not bring Pop Smoke back, it does offer some closure for his family, friends, and fans. As the music industry continues to mourn the loss of this talented young artist, it is important to remember the impact that senseless violence can have on the lives of those left behind.