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Suspect in targeted murder of San Mateo rap artist arrested, Oklahoma

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BLANCHARD, Oklahoma (UKTN SF) – A man suspected of the targeted shooting death of a rap artist outside a San Mateo bank in December was arrested in Oklahoma in what police called an investigation permed.

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San Mateo Police detectives arrested Isiaih Reupena, 34, at his home in Blanchard on Thursday morning without incident. He was taken to a local jail where he is now awaiting his extradition to San Mateo County.

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

San Mateo Police detectives arrest Isiaih Reupena in Blanchard, Oklahoma on April 1, 2021. (San Mateo Police Department)

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

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Days after the homicide, detectives located an abandoned white Mercedes 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 leads of investigation led detectives to identify Reupena as a suspect. At around 6 a.m., several security forces executed an arrest warrant at Reupena’s home, where he was arrested.

Police outside Isiaih Reupena’s home in Blanchard, Oklahoma on April 1, 2021 (San Mateo Police Dept.)

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

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No motive was revealed in the murder. Anyone with additional information on the case was encouraged to contact Detective Sergeant Paul Pak at (650) 522-7660 or [email protected] Anonymous tips can be submitted at http://tinyurl.com/SMPDTips or by calling (650) 522-7676.


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