The death of controversial rapper XXXTentacion brought mixed reactions from fans and critics.
Police are searching for two suspects after Monday’s fatal shooting of rapper XXXTentacion outside a motorcycle dealership in Deerfield Beach, Florida, as some fans gathered on the sidewalk where he was slain to place candles, flowers and teddy bears.
The 20-year-old rapper, whose real name is Jahseh Dwayne Onfroy, was pronounced dead Monday evening at a Fort Lauderdale-area hospital, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office told USA TODAY.
Stephanie Martinez, a 29-year-old mother who lives in the neighborhood, told the Associated Press that she was coming back from the pool with her kids when she heard three shots. She drove to the end of the street and saw the rapper’s body in the black luxury vehicle in which he was killed.
“He has his mouth open and his hand out. Two people went over and checked his pulse,” said Martinez, who also saw blood. “It’s just weird because he should’ve had security and stuff with him.”
Police told the Associated Press that the shooting happened during an apparent robbery attempt at RIVA Motorsports. XXXTentacion was approached by two armed suspects and at least one of them fired, before both suspects fled the scene in a dark SUV. No immediate arrests were made.
XXXTentacion’s lawyer, David Bogenschutz, said detectives believe he was shot in a random robbery while likely planning to buy a motorcycle. He said investigators also told him the slain rapper visited a bank shortly before the shooting and possibly withdrew cash for the purchase.
RIVA Motorsports, an upscale seller of motorcycles, boats, all-terrain vehicles and scooters, is located off a main highway next to railroad tracks and a neighborhood of tract homes. On the sidewalk nearby, fans have decorated about 100 yards of pavement with chalk art including intricate drawings of the rapper and messages of sympathy and loss such as “Feel for you XXX” and “4evr Young.”
Meanwhile, the rappers Soldier Kidd and Soldier Jojo are denying their involvement in the shooting after social media speculation linked them to the incident.
According to a 911 dispatch call obtained by TMZ, XXXTentacion’s shooter allegedly wore a red mask during the shooting. Fans noticed an Instagram post from Soldier Kidd showing him and Soldier Jojo in a car together, posing with a red mask, taken the day of the shooting.
Both rappers responded in respective Instagram posts, claiming they had no part in XXXTentacion’s death.
“I’ve been seeing a lot of comments, I’ve been seeing a lot of things going on social media saying that I had something to do with XXXtentacion’s passing,” said Soldier Kidd, denying he was involved. “My condolences go to the man’s family.”
“Y’all got me (expletive) up, saying we did the (shooting)” Soldier Jojo said in his post. “We respect everyone… I respect that man for who he is, so RIP to that man.”
XXXtentacion’s death was mourned by the music community, with Kanye West tweeting, “I never told you how much you inspired me when you were here thank you for existing.”
Yet the rapper, who first attracted fans on SoundCloud before achieving mainstream music success with his March album “?” debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard charts, was also a controversial figure with a history of domestic abuse.
At the time of his death, he was awaiting trial on charges including domestic battery, aggravated battery and false imprisonment against his pregnant girlfriend stemming from 2016. Depositions from his ex Geneva Ayala “detail a pattern of regular, torturous abuse (with) daily verbal attacks and physical incidents every three or four days,” per a report from the Miami New Times.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Read or Share this story: https://usat.ly/2t7D0EE