How XXXTentacion Died — Looking Back at the Rapper's Death
The trial of three men accused of gunning down rapper XXXTentacion began in South Florida Tuesday, more than four years after the rising star was killed. The American rapper and singer, real name Jahseh Dwayne Ricardo Onfroy, was shot several times during a robbery in Florida while leaving a motorcycle dealership, resulting in his death at 20 years old. Personal demons haunted the controversial rapper, but his music explored heavy themes like depression, loneliness, and suicide, and he gained many followers and fans who mourned his untimely death in 2018. In mourning Onfroy, many see him as a troubled genius despite his history of violence. The following are some of the key events that led up to Onfroy's death, as well as what lies ahead for fans and supporters.
Who was XXXTentacion?
Onfroy was born on January 23, 1998, in Plantation, Florida. He lived with his grandmother from age 12 but had disciplinary issues in school. He spent a short period in juvenile hall after graduating in 2012 due to armed robbery, burglary, and firearm possession. Onfroy began his music career after his release, launching his first track, "News/Flock," on SoundCloud in 2013. By 2018, he had more than 2 million followers on the platform. In addition to two studio albums, he released four mixtapes, five extended plays, and many songs that reached the top of the charts during his brief but notable career. Several prominent artists have also worked with him, including Travis Barker, PnB Rock, Joey Bada$$, and Lil Yachty. When the rapper's popularity began to soar, his controversial behavior continued. He confessed to stabbing nine people and domestic abuse against his pregnant girlfriend, Geneva Ayala. In addition, he constantly feuded with other artists and made headlines with a divisive music video, among many other situations that caused outrage among music fans.
How Did XXXTentacion Die?
After withdrawing money from the bank on June 18, Onfroy was followed to RIVA Motorsports by alleged murderers Dedrick Williams, 22, Michael Boatwright, 22, Trayvon Newsome, 20, and Robert Allen, 22, in a dark-colored SUV. The police believe that the killing was premeditated and targeted, not random, since Williams recognized the rapper's car on the day of the killing. His sister Ariana Onfroy, in her first interview after the rapper's death, claimed that someone within the rapper's inner circle planned the murder. "There's somebody on the inside that knew where he was going to be and the exact time he was leaving for the murderers to know when to come and to do what they did. It definitely was set up," she told The Sun. That afternoon, Onfroy and his uncle arrived at the motorcycle dealership at 3:30 p.m. Upon spotting Onfry's car, suspect Williams notified the other suspects to go into the shop to verify it was Onfry before killing him. Williams and Allen were recorded following the rapper and his uncle into the store and buying black masks earlier.
On June 18, 2018, shortly before 4 p.m., the rapper left the motorcycle shop and was driving away in his car when the SUV drove in front of him and blocked his path. As Newsome and Boatwright exited the vehicle, they demanded "property" from Onfroy. After a brief struggle, the suspects repeatedly shot him in the neck. The rapper was taken to the hospital and remained in critical condition for about an hour and a half before he was pronounced dead. The news of the rapper's sudden passing spread like wildfire, and fans began to pay tribute. Just a few days before his murder, Onfroy posted an ominous video on Instagram Live about how he wanted people to remember him if he died. "If I'm going to die or ever be a sacrifice, I want to make sure that my life made at least five million kids happy or they found some sort of answers or resolve in my life," the rapper said in the video.
Who Killed XXXTentacion?
Within a month of Onfroy's death, Robert Allen, 22, Trayvon Newsome, 20, and Dedrick Williams, 22, were charged with first-degree murder with a firearm and armed robbery in connection with the rapper's passing. Due to their immediate escape from the crime scene, it took almost two months for the police to arrest the four suspects. Newsome surrendered to authorities in early August. Williams was arrested two days after the killing, Boatwright was arrested on unrelated drug charges on July 5, and Allen was arrested on July 27. If convicted of first-degree murder, Boatwright, Williams, and Newsome could all receive life sentences. Allen pleaded guilty to second-degree murder last year and is expected to testify against the other three. The trial is expected to continue until March. Allen pleaded guilty to second-degree murder last year and is expected to testify against the other three in the trial, which is set to last until March. Opening statements began Tuesday morning after nearly a week of jury selection.