Authorities are conducting an investigation to determine potential links between the death of a man found deceased within a barrel on a Malibu beach and the 2020 homicide of rapper Pop Smoke, TMZ reports.
The individual who was found in the barrel has been identified as Javonnta Murphy, aged 32. His body was discovered on July 31, encased in a 55-gallon barrel floating near the Pacific Coast Highway bridge.
Javonnta Murphy’s brother, Jaquan Murphy, 24, was among five individuals arrested in connection with the murder of rapper Pop Smoke. The rapper was fatally shot during a home invasion robbery in the Hollywood Hills. Despite being apprehended alongside four other suspects for attempted murder, Jaquan was subsequently exonerated from the charges.
Law enforcement is now delving into the possibility that Javonnta Murphy’s killing might have been an act of retaliation for the murder of the rapper. The police theory suggests that in February 2020, 20-year-old Pop Smoke, known legally as Bashar Barakah Jackson, was targeted by a group of burglars who found his Airbnb location from his social media posts.
Investigators have said that these suspects entered the residence around 4 a.m., forcing their way into Jackson’s room. A confrontation took place within the confines of a shower, where a 15-year-old assailant pistol-whipped the rapper and inflicted three gunshot wounds to his back, as detailed by the L.A. Times. Subsequently, the suspects fled from the scene with Jackson’s valuable possessions, including a diamond-adorned Rolex watch that was later sold for $2,000. The rapper succumbed to his injuries at the hospital.
By July 2020, it was confirmed that Jaquan Murphy was not implicated in the rapper’s murder, in contrast to the other four suspects who faced charges. The specific role attributed to Jaquan at that juncture had not been disclosed by authorities.
News by Breaking911