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Suspect In Targeted Killing Of Rap Artist In San Mateo Arrested In Oklahoma

BLANCHARD, Oklahoma (CBS SF) -- A man suspected in the targeted shooting death of a Bay Area rap artist outside a bank in San Mateo in December was arrested in Oklahoma following what police called a round-the-clock investigation.

San Mateo police detectives arrested Isaiah Reupena, 34, at his home in Blanchard Thursday morning without incident. He was taken to a local jail where he now awaits extradition to San Mateo County.

On December 19 at about 9:25 a.m., officers responding to a report of a shooting arrived at the Wells Fargo bank branch at 81 W. Hillsdale Blvd. to find a unresponsive man who was pronounced dead on the scene. He was identified as 30-year-old Melota Lemafa Lasi, Jr. of San Jose, a rap artist who performed under the name Cutty Banks.

san mateo homicide suspect
San Mateo police detectives arrest Isaiah Reupena in Blanchard, Oklahoma, April 1, 2021. (San Mateo Police Dept.)

Witnesses told police a gunman wearing a black hoodie shot at the man at least five times before fleeing on foot. At the time, police said the shooting was targeted and an isolated incident not involving the bank.

Within a few days of the homicide, detectives located a white Mercedes abandoned in Southern California linked to the shooting, police said. Security camera footage showed the Mercedes driver matched descriptions of the gunman provided by witnesses.

Other investigative leads led detectives to identify Reupena as the suspect. At about 6 a.m., multiple law enforcement agencies served an arrest warrant at Reupena's home, where he was arrested.

Police outside the home of Isiaih Reupena in Blanchard, Oklahoma, April 1, 2021. (San Mateo Police Dept.)

San Mateo police said detectives worked with investigators throughout San Mateo County, Southern Californa and the Oklahoma District 21 Task Force to find and arrest Reupena.

No motive was disclosed in the killing. Anyone with additional information about the case was encouraged to contact Detective Sergeant Paul Pak at (650) 522-7660 or Anonymous tips can be submitted to or by calling (650) 522-7676.

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