Obe Noir, a Houston-based rapper known for his activism in the city’s Third Ward area, is dead after a shooting on early Monday morning. He was 31.
The fatal incident occurred around 3:40 a.m. near 2900 Fannin Street, according to the Houston Police Department.
Witnesses saw Obe Noir, born Xavier Roberson, running down the street after hearing gunfire in the distance, detectives said in a news release.
A vehicle drove around the block “as if chasing Roberson” before two men got out of the car and shot him, according to police.
The suspects then returned to the vehicle and fled the scene, authorities said. They were last seen turning onto San Jacinto Street.
Roberson was pronounced dead at the scene.
Prior to his rap career, Roberson played college basketball for Texas Christian University and the University of South Alabama.
He had also played basketball professionally for Germany’s Hamburg Towers, Mexico’s Santos de San Luis, Argentina’s Atenas de Córdoba and Colombia’s Titanes de Barranquilla.
In addition to music, Roberson founded The Longway apparel line.
The rapper was known for his community activism and often worked with local rappers Cal Wayne and Trae Tha Truth.
“This can not be real. Not you, ? WTF! This can’t be happening, not to you lil brother. ?????? Zay Da Brickboy @obenoir ???,” Wayne wrote on his Instagram in the wake of Roberson’s death.
“U aint Deserve The way they done You…. ? Rest Easy King …. @obenoir,” Trae Tha Truth shared on his social media account.
In a GoFundMe campaign set up to raise funds for his memorial, Roberson is described as having been “humble, kind, driven, intelligent, and loving.”
“He captivated every person that he encountered, to know Zay was to love Zay,” a description on the page reads. “His spirit lives on in all of us, whose lives he touched.”
Roberson is survived by his daughter Dakota and numerous family and friends throughout the word, according to the fundraiser.
An investigation into Roberson’s shooting is ongoing. Police have asked those with information to contact 713-308-3600 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.