Rapper XXXTentacion Shot Dead in Broward County

XXXTentacion performing at Club Cinema in Pompano Beach last year.
XXXTentacion performing at Club Cinema in Pompano Beach last year. Photo by Amadeus McCaskill
Update 6/21: Broward sheriffs have arrested 22-year-old Dedrick D. Williams and charged him with XXXtentacion's murder.

Update 6/19: Both police and friends of XXXTentacion say his murder may have been a robbery gone wrong.

XXXTentacion, a sensational rapper whose skyrocketing career was rocked by criminal charges of domestic abuse, was shot dead in Deerfield Beach this afternoon. TMZ first reported the shooting, which was later confirmed by the Broward Sheriff's Office. Witnesses on the scene posted graphic images of the rapper motionless in the driver's seat of a BMW. BSO pronounced him dead around 5:40 p.m.

The Broward County Fire Department told TMZ that the rapper, born Jahseh Onfroy, had been rushed to a hospital. According to WPLG, the ambulance took him to Broward Health North.

A spokesperson for BSO told New Times the shooting occurred in Deerfield Beach. In a follow-up statement, police said they received a phone call reporting the shooting at 3:57 p.m. They dispatched a public information officer, who was at the shooting location (3671 N. Dixie Hwy., Deerfield Beach) by 5:30.

"There was a shooting in Deerfield. Our officers are on the scene and we're gathering information," Jonathan Fishman, a BSO spokesman, said. "We can't confirm anything else right now but will release more information soon."

A BSO spokesman confirmed that just before 4 p.m., the 20-year-old victim was leaving Riva Motorsports when he was approached by two armed suspects.

At least one of the suspects fired a gun, striking Onfroy. The pair then fled in a dark-colored SUV. The rapper was transported to Broward Health North as a "Level 1" trauma patient and was comatose upon arrival. Within an hour, he was pronounced dead.

Detectives say the incident appears to have been a robbery. According to TMZ, witnesses said a Louis Vuitton bag was taken from the rapper's car. Video shows BSO deputies responding to the scene.

According to a 911 dispatch call obtained by TMZ, the shooter, allegedly wearing a red mask, escaped in a black Dodge Journey along with another suspect. Both men were reportedly wearing hoodies.

Just an hour before the shooting, the rapper stated on Instagram that he was planning a charity event in Miami this weekend.

At 6:10 p.m., the house where Onfroy lived in Parkland, about 11 miles west of the shooting, was deserted. Two Mercedes vehicles — a van and an SUV — were parked in the driveway. A knock on the palatial doors went unanswered, except for the barking of a small dog within. Ironically, the concrete walls surrounding the house offered a little protection for the rapper.

Around 6:20, an Acura SUV pulled into the driveway. Two women stepped out and walked into the house. When a reporter approached the SUV's driver, who was wearing a Confederate flag hat and a neon-yellow T-shirt, the man said, “You need to get out of here. I am going to give you about three seconds.” The reporter left.

The rapper had rocketed to stardom in the past 12 months. His single "Look at Me!" shot to the top of the Billboard charts despite his long history of domestic-abuse allegations.

Earlier this month, New Times published a long-form profile about the rapper in which he told reporter Tarpley Hitt of a complicated relationship with his mother. He also denounced feminism, arguing that its proponents wanted "empowerment" rather than "equity."

Hitt also spoke with Onfroy's former girlfriend, Geneva Ayala, who described a longterm pattern of abuse she said she had suffered at the rapper's hands.

Onfroy was recently released from jail on house arrest while he awaited charges of aggravated battery on a pregnant victim, false imprisonment, strangulation, and witness tampering. In March, a judge modified his house arrest so he could tour for his latest album, ?.

Broward officials say the investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is urged to contact homicide detectives Walt Foster and John Curcio at 954-321-4210 or Broward Crime Stoppers, anonymously, at 954-493-TIPS.

Douglas Markowitz and Tim Elfrink contributed reporting to this story.
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Tarpley Hitt was an editorial intern at Miami New Times.
Jerry Iannelli is a former staff writer for Miami New Times from 2015 to March 2020. He graduated with honors from Temple University. He then earned a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University.