Thousands of XXXTentacion fans sang along to his lyrics and made "X" signs with their arms at a Florida stadium Wednesday afternoon in a line to file past the slain rapper's casket, where he was laid out in a denim jacket and maroon pants, with two braids splayed over the side.
According to the Miami Herald, security guards bookended the casket, which was surrounded by black roses and silver leaves, with spotlights lighting the stage at the 20,000-seat BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida.
The arena that's home to the NHL's Florida Panthers opened its doors to fans, loved ones and peers of the Broward County rapper and singer, who was shot and killed outside a motor sports shop last week.
XXXTentacion, whose given name was Jahseh Dwayne Onfroy, died on June 18 after he was ambushed by two masked men in what police say was an armed robbery. Police have arrested one man and are looking for two others.
The snaking line consisted of mostly teenage fans and supporters and was thousands of people deep more than two hours before the memorial was scheduled to begin at 12 p.m. ET. XXXTentacion's music blared from speakers overhead.
Many fans wept openly, held hands and hugged each other on their way into the arena.
Inside, family members and friends in a roped-off area wore black T-shirts that said "Bad" on front and "No more pain" on the back. As popular songs came on, the crowd became rowdy and many started jumping and raising their hands in the air as they shouted the lyrics, according to the Associated Press.
His mother briefly acknowledged the crowd, but did not say anything. No cameras or cellphones were allowed in the building.
Rappers Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Yachty, Ugly God and Denzel Curry attended the wake, paying their respects to their peer.
A 17-year-old fan named Albert Lopez told the Miami Herald that he remained "heartbroken" a week after the murder.
"I felt like he knew him as a brother," Lopez said Wednesday.
“What was his gift? Fearlessness. Fearlessness,” a fan who identified himself as Choice Bison told the Associated Press. “As people, we are always wondering what people are thinking about us. And he just had a beautiful ability to not care what anybody was saying, to not care what anybody was thinking and give us his authentic self.”
Dedrick Williams, 22, was arrested last week and charged with first-degree murder in the rapper's killing. He has not yet entered a plea. Police released photos and the identity of another young man, who they are calling a "person of interest." The Broward Sheriff's Office said Wednesday that detectives want to question 22-year-old Robert Allen about his knowledge of the slaying. He had not been charged with any crime.0comments
Police believe Williams was behind the wheel of the SUV that was used to block XXXTentacion's sport BMW vehicle in its parking spot at RIVA Motorsports before two masked men jumped out of the car and ambushed XXXTentacion. The rapper died after at least one of the suspects shot him.
At the time of his death, XXXTentacion was a platinum-selling rising star who rapped about issues like prejudice and depression. He also drew criticism for bad behavior and multiple arrests, including charges that he severely beat and abused his girlfriend.