XXXTentacion dead: Soldier Kidd and Soldier Jojo deny involvement as 'police description of suspects revealed'

Two fellow artists, Soldier Kidd and Soldier JoJo, deny involvement following accusations on social media

Tom Embury-Dennis
Wednesday 20 June 2018 03:43
Police cordon off car where rapper XXXTentacion was found killed by drive-by shooting

Update: Man arrested by Florida police over fatal shooting of XXXTentacion.

A police description of suspects has reportedly been revealed after US rapper XXXTentacion was shot dead in Florida in an apparent attempted robbery.

The 20-year-old rising star – real name Jahseh Dwayne Onfroy – was pronounced dead on Monday evening at a Fort Lauderdale hospital, the sheriff's office said. He was gunned down at a Deerfield Beach motorcycle dealership.

According to TMZ, police radio described the suspects in the shooting as two black males wearing hoodies. Witnesses reportedly told police a Louis Vuitton bag was taken from Onfroy's vehicle.

Broward County's public information office refused to confirm a media report that suggested the shooter was wearing a mask.

The sheriff's office said it was investigating the killing by "two armed suspects in an apparent robbery". A statement said "at least one of the suspects fired a gun striking Onfroy" and "both suspects fled in a dark-color SUV".

Both suspects fled in a dark-coloured SUV, the Broward County Sheriff's Office said in a statement.

Onfroy's lawyer told ABC News detectives believed his client was shot in a random robbery after he visited a bank, where he possibly withdrew money.

Earlier, two rappers - Soldier Kidd and Soldier JoJo - were forced to deny any involvement in Onfroy's death after social media posts showed them with takeaway food from a Hook Fish and Chicken food outlet, one of which is just over four miles from the murder scene.

However, the company has another three outlets in the county, all of which are much further from the motorcycle dealership.

On Instagram Live, Soldier Kidd said he was at his house "all day, popping Xanax and s*** like that".

Soldier Jojo posted a video to the social media platform responding to allegations over any involvement: "We respect everybody, straight up. We ain't with none of that s*** man, I respect that man for who he is, and RIP to that man."

XXXTentacion spoke of his 'tragic death' in Instagram video before being killed

XXXTentacion had been at RIVA Motorsports, sheriff's public information officer Keyla Concepcion said. He was in a black BMW i8 and preparing to leave before 4pm when two armed suspects approached him.

At least one of them fired, and then both suspects fled the scene in a dark SUV, Ms Concepcion said.

No arrests have been made.

Stephanie Martinez, a 29-year-old mother who lives in the neighbourhood, was with her children when she heard three shots. She drove to the end of the street and saw the rapper's body in the car.

"He has his mouth open and his hand out. Two people went over and checked his pulse," said Ms Martinez, who also saw blood. "It's just weird because he should've had security and stuff with him."

On Twitter, his peers expressed shock and sadness.

Kanye West said: "Rest in peace ... I never told you how much you inspired me when you were here thank you for existing."

Diplo posted a photo of the two together and said, "Thanks for inspiring me."

Travis Barker tweeted: "I'm at a loss for words... speechless #RIPXXXTentacion Loved collaborating with you. You were a true artist ..."

The entertainer, who sported dreadlocks and a number of facial tattoos, was a rising star and notched a No 1 album in March with his second release "?" and had a top 10 hit with "Sad!" but was facing trial on charges of aggravated battery of his pregnant girlfriend.

XXXTentacion racked up huge streaming numbers. On Spotify, his "Sad!" had more than 270 million streams and was on its Top 50 chart this week in the US and globally. He also has several songs that were declared platinum, including "Changes," "Roll in Peace" with fellow rapper Kodak Black and "Look at Me!"

In an interview with XXL magazine, which named him as an up-and-coming artist last year, the rapper cited Nirvana, the Notorious BIG and Tupac Shakur among his musical influences.

"Obviously, I'm one of the greatest of this generation, the upcoming generation, as far as artistry... And I say that humbly," he said in a video interview with the outlet last year.

But much of his brief career had been mired in controversy. In 2016, he was arrested on charges including home invasion for a 2015 incident, and less than a month later was arrested on charges that he attacked his girlfriend, who was pregnant at the time, and was jailed, and later faced more charges including witness tampering.

Regarding a June 2017 attack at a San Diego concert, the following messages were posted on XXXTentacion's Twitter account: "Security and venue set me up, I got sucker punched and knocked out, it is what it is."

A subsequent tweet said: "Next time make sure you kill me so I can't talk (expletive)."

He was released from jail on house arrest late last year and was released from house arrest earlier this year to allow him to tour.

Wyatt Rubin, 21-year-old fan, jumped in his car and headed to the scene of the shooting on Monday as soon as he heard, playing the rapper's songs like "Jocelyn Flores" and "King" on the drive over.

"He was just maturing as a person and as an artist... it couldn't have come at a worse time," Mr Rubin said. "A lot of it was really beautiful music, progressive music."

In an interview earlier this month with the Miami New Times, XXXTentacion described his upbringing, which included seeing his mother infrequently and being raised by friends, other family and babysitters. His mother would buy him clothes, phones and other gifts. He told the paper he used violence so she would engage with him.

"I used to beat kids at school just to get her to talk to me, yell at me," he said.

XXXTentacion was initially one of two artists Spotify removed from its promoted playlists in May in accordance with its new policy on hateful music and conduct.

But after a backlash in the music industry, Spotify backpedalled and said it would no longer attempt to police conduct and restored XXXTentacion to its playlists (although they did not do the same for R Kelly).

While he made headlines for his legal woes, he connected to millions of fans musically. Among the topics he spoke about was depression and he addressed it in his music.

In one video posted to social media, he said: "If worse things come to worse, I (expletive) die a tragic death or some (expletive), and I'm not able to see out my dreams, I at least want to know that the kids perceive my message and were able to make something of themselves."

He continued later: "I appreciate and love all of you and I believe in you all; do not let your depression make you, do not let your body define your soul, let your soul define your body. Your mind is limitless... you are worth more than you can believe."

Anyone with information is asked to contact BSO homicide detectives Walt Foster or John Curcio at (954) 321-4210, or Crime Stoppers at (954) 493-8477. Tips that lead to an arrest are eligible for a reward of up to $3,000.

Additional reporting by AP.

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