Takeoff fans gather in Atlanta to celebrate life of killed rapper

Fans have gathered to celebrate the life of killed rapper Takeoff at an arena close to his family home in Atlanta.

The 28-year-old, who was a member of the hip-hop trio Migos, was shot dead outside a Houston bowling alley earlier this month during an attack that also left another man and a woman injured.

To remember the life and music of the star, whose real name was Kirsnick Khari Ball, State Farm Arena held a special memorial service for his fans.

The home of the Atlanta Hawks basketball team lit up a huge image of the rapper outside the arena for the event, which saw fans from Georgia given free tickets to get in.

Jenifer Loving, 22, stood in line with her infant son, Mateo, for more than an hour before doors opened.

She said Takeoff's death was heartbreaking because he was so young.

Migos' music represented the creativity and culture of the black community, she said, and she worried the group would be too saddened to make new music – at least for a while.

"It's just something that you can play anywhere, and everybody will just come out and come around and dance," she said.

"It's how it brings people together. It's how it makes the whole room just fill up with positivity."

'I pray for them'

Eric Hood, an Atlanta firefighter, said he was shocked when he heard about Takeoff's death because of the three members of Migos, he was considered the most laid back.

Migos' music was an "escape" for many people, he said, and he was hopeful the event would leave his family and the rest of the group with lasting memories of him.

"I pray for them," he said. "I hope they continue to be uplifting, positive, influential members in the society and keep pushing forward."

Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said the day after the shooting that Takeoff was "well respected", and there was "no reason to believe he was involved in anything criminal at the time".

Fans asked to donate to charity

The Grammy Award-nominated trio Migos also included Takeoff's uncle Quavo and cousin Offset, and all three were largely raised by Takeoff's mother.

Migos first rose to fame in 2013 with their hit Versace, which became even more popular when Drake remixed it.

They went on to have several hit tracks including the 2016 Grammy-nominated Bad And Boujee, Motorsport (with Nicki Minaj and Cardi B, who is married to Offset) and Stir Fry.

Migos' record label, Quality Control, mourned Takeoff's death in a statement posted on Instagram that attributed it to "senseless violence and a stray bullet", but police have not confirmed this.

Instead of flowers or gifts, his family asked fans to make donations to The Rocket Foundation, which was established in Takeoff's honour and aims to prevent gun violence.