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Gun violence in the US

Arrest is made in Florida shooting death of rapper XXXTentacion

Authorities did not give a motive in announcing the arrest, but had said the shooting was apparently a robbery attempt

PUBLISHED : Friday, 22 June, 2018, 1:21am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 26 June, 2018, 3:28am

Authorities in Florida have arrested a suspect in the killing of rising rap star XXXTentacion, who was fatally shot in his BMW electric car as he left an upscale motorcycle dealership in Deerfield Beach.

Dedrick Williams, 22, of Pompano Beach, Florida, was arrested on Wednesday night, the Broward Sheriff’s Office said on Thursday morning.

Chart-topping rapper XXXTentacion is shot dead at 20, after a fast and violent rise to fame

Jahseh Dwayne Onfroy, 20, who went by the stage name pronounced “Ex Ex Ex ten-ta-see-YAWN,” was gunned down on Monday, bringing a violent end to a brief music career that was marked by violence and arrests.

Authorities said the rapper was ambushed by two suspects. They did not give a motive in announcing Williams’ arrest but had previously said the shooting was apparently a robbery attempt.

XXXTentacion’s lawyer, David Bogenschutz, said on Tuesday that investigators told him the rapper had visited a bank shortly before the shooting and possibly withdrew cash to buy a motorcycle at Riva Motorsports.

Williams is charged with first-degree murder without premeditation, a probation violation and for not having a valid driving licence. He was being held without bond in the Broward County Jail on Thursday.Five singers gunned down in their prime, like rapper XXXTentacion

Court records show that Williams has been charged previously with several felonies, including grand theft auto, domestic violence, cocaine possession and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. It does not appear, however, that he has ever done prison time for these charges, and some of them were dropped.

XXXTentacion was a rising star. He had a No 1 album in March with his sophomore effort “?’’ and had a top 10 hit with “Sad!”

But he also had a troubled history. In 2016, he was arrested on charges including home invasion, and less than a month later was jailed on charges that he attacked his girlfriend, who was pregnant at the time. Later, he faced more charges, including witness tampering.

In a recent interview with the Miami New Times, XXXTentacion described his upbringing, which included seeing his mother infrequently and being raised by friends, family and babysitters. His mother bought him clothes, phones and other gifts. He said he used violence so she would engage with him.

In one video on 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.”