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The man accused of a Halloween party shooting that left Migos rapper TakeOff dead says he’s innocent of the charges, according to his attorney.
Patrick Xavier Clark, 33, appeared Monday morning at a Houston courthouse after being charged with the Nov. 1 murder of rap musician TakeOff, whose real name was Kirsnick Khari Ball, according to CBS Houston affiliate KHOU.
Clark is accused of opening fire at a private party held at Houston’s 810 Billiards and Bowling following an early-hours argument stemming from what police called a “lucrative dice game.”
Authorities said the 28-year-old unarmed rapper was "not involved” in the dice game, referring to the victim as an “innocent bystander.”
Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said TakeOff was in the “wrong place at the wrong time,” according to KHOU.
Letitia Quinones, an attorney representing Clark, told reporters her client was “nervous” and “concerned” in light of the murder charge, according to the Associated Press.
“He’s being charged with something that he believes he’s innocent of,” said Quinones. "So how would anyone do in that type of situation?”
The judge set Clark’s bond at $2 million, according to KHOU.
At a probable cause hearing on Friday, the court heard surveillance footage captured the defendant shortly after 2:30 a.m., shooting a gun — believed to be the murder weapon — while also holding a wine bottle, according to the Houston outlet.
TakeOff sustained gunshot wounds in the head and back, according to the Associated Press.
The rapper died just outside the bowling alley doors as more than 30 people left the party.
It remains unclear whether TakeOff was a guest at the private event.
An unnamed man and woman were also caught in the crossfire and reportedly drove themselves to the hospital, according to the Associated Press. Their injuries appear non-life-threatening, police stated.
When authorities arrested Clark on Thursday night, they said he was preparing to flee for Mexico with a “large amount” of cash, something Clark’s attorney denies, according to the Associated Press. Clark also allegedly filed to have his passport expedited.
Quinones told the court her client’s trip to Mexico was something he’d previously planned for, KHOU reported.
“That's something that was pre-planned, and it was canceled before he was arrested,” Quinones stated. “I think that’s important. He wasn’t trying to go anywhere.”
Quinones declined to specify whether TakeOff and Clark knew one another.
“There is a lot of investigation that needs to be done,” she said. “So we just ask that everyone keep an open mind and let the system do its part and let the constitution do its part, and that is, right now, he’s innocent until he’s proven guilty.”
She added that the rapper’s death was a “tragedy” that was occurring “too often in our communities,” according to the Associated Press.
Per court records, Clark listed himself as a self-employed DJ with no reported income in support of his request for a court-appointed lawyer, according to KHOU. Should he post his $2 million bond, he’d be mandated to 24-hour house arrest with GPS electronic monitoring, banned from alcohol and drug use and prohibited from contacting TakeOff’s family.
Prior to Clark's arrest, police also arrested Cameron Joshua with felony possession of a weapon. However, Police Sgt. Michael Burrow said they believe TakeOff was struck with a bullet from Clark’s gun, calling Clark the “lethal shooter.”
Police are still hoping witnesses will come forward after reports that more than one person discharged a firearm during the argument, according to the Associated Press.
“We know who was on the scene,” said Police Chief Finner, per KHOU. “And we will be contacting and reaching out and finding those individuals. This is a murder.”
TakeOff was one-third of the Grammy-award-nominated rap group, Migos, out of the Atlanta-area rap scene. The other two founding members consisted of TakeOff’s uncle, Quavo — who was with TakeOff on the night of the deadly shooting — and Quavo’s cousin, Offset.
“It’s so hard to tell ya Ima miss you because you always with me and we did everything together,” Quavo said in a lengthy and emotional Instagram post. “Since we were kids, you been by my side lookin’ up at me, them eyes waiting for me to make the next move. Then you followed right behind me.”
TakeOff was laid to rest in Atlanta with several celebrities in attendance, including Chloe Bailey and Justin Bieber, according to KHOU.
Clark is expected to appear for a bond reduction hearing on Dec. 14.
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