Further details regarding how police were able to track down the suspects involved in the burglary and fatal shooting of Pop Smoke have come to light.
An LAPD detective testified at a preliminary court hearing for 20-year-old Corey Walker, the only adult suspect in the case, last week. It’s already been reported that the 15-year-old in the case confessed to fatally shooting Pop in the early hours of Feb. 19, 2020, but Walker also confessed to a person he believed to be a cellmate.
The 15-year-old, unnamed due to their age, confessed to a cellmate at a juvenile detention center back in May. Just six weeks later, Walker spoke about his involvement with a cellmate who said they were a gang member, the Los Angeles Times reports. In reality, that cellmate was a plant for the police.
LAPD detective Carlos Camacho testified in court last week that Walker told the plant he was a member of the Hoover Criminals, a gang situated in South Los Angeles. Walker told them he had driven to the Airbnb that Pop was renting on Feb. 18, returning later in the day with four “youngsters,” as he put it. He brought along gloves, masks, and a police scanner to help avoid the authorities. Walker and the four unnamed minors entered once they knew there were only two men and one woman inside at the time.
Walker admitted to arming two of the teenagers before they entered the house, but maintained that he waited inside the car. He said he gave “the heat” to the 15-year-old who admitted to pulling the trigger on Pop, and “the burner” to “the guy from Stevenson Village.” The detective added that Walker told the teens “don’t use my shit,” assumedly referring to his firearms.
As reported last week, the 15-year-old admitted to their involvement, but the finer details on the ongoing case reveal they only made off with Pop Smoke’s watch after the fatal robbery. The group later sold the watch for $2,000.
As for how the detectives were able to track down the suspects, detectives Camacho and Frank Flores testified that a judge gave the green light to a warrant that allowed them to access a Google account belonging to Walker. Prior to the robbery and shooting, the account had searched the address of the house where Pop was staying, which they had gotten from a post on the rapper’s Instagram Stories. Following the shooting, the same account searched “Rolex oyster perpetual datejust” followed by “breaking news L.A.” Following that, the detectives executed a search warrant for Walker’s phone records.
They were able to track down Walker after the 15-year-old was arrested by following his movements via cell towers his phone interacted with. Walker has been charged with murder and robbery, and is facing the death penalty if convicted. The three arrested underage suspects have also been charged with murder and robbery. One suspect, who is assumed to be the “guy from Stevenson Village” mentioned in Walker’s conversations with the plant, remains at large.
Walker’s attorney Christopher Darden has argued that his client never intended to murder Pop Smoke, and that he remained in the getaway car at the time of the shooting. “Part of the irony in all of this,” Darden said, “is the person who shot him probably won’t stay in prison a day beyond 25. And my client stands to spend the rest of his life in prison. I think that’s fundamentally wrong.”