The police in Florida have arrested a second suspect in the killing of the 20-year-old rapper XXXTentacion, who was shot in broad daylight while leaving a motorcycle dealership on June 18.
The Broward County Sheriff’s Office said on Wednesday that Michael Boatwright, 22, was one of two armed suspects who confronted XXXTentacion (born Jahseh Onfroy) in his car that afternoon in Deerfield Beach, Fla., attempting to rob him. Mr. Boatwright was arrested on July 5 on unrelated drug charges, the police said, and was served an arrest warrant for first-degree murder while still in custody on Tuesday.
Another suspect, Dedrick Devonshay Williams, 22, was arrested two days after the killing, and charged with first-degree murder, though detectives said at the time that they were seeking additional suspects. On Wednesday, the Broward Sheriff’s Office said it was still seeking an unidentified “second gunman” in the slaying; Robert Allen, 22, has also been named as a person of interest in the case.
XXXTentacion had been a rising star in hip-hop, landing a No. 1 album in March despite existing largely outside of the mainstream music business. He first gained popularity on the streaming platform SoundCloud and became something of a poster child for the digital age, with millions of young fans tracking his every utterance. But XXXTentacion was also mired in controversy and legal troubles, and was awaiting trial on charges including aggravated battery of a pregnant victim, false imprisonment and witness tampering at the time of his death.
On the day he was killed, the rapper visited Riva Motorsports with a friend. The police said two men followed XXXTentacion into the store and later, as he was leaving the dealership, blocked his vehicle and exited a dark-colored S.U.V. brandishing guns and demanding property. After a brief struggle, at least one of the suspects fired at the rapper, who was later pronounced dead at a hospital.
“The investigation continues,” the Broward County Sheriff’s Office said in its news release on Wednesday.
Sheriff Scott Israel of Broward said that his department was withholding additional information about the arrest of Mr. Boatwright, and sealed the arrest report, as it continued to pursue the case, the Sun-Sentinel reported.
“We’re not releasing any information about it because we’re still looking for two other suspects, including Robert Allen,” Mr. Israel said. “If we release more information about the case, it may hamper detectives’ ability or impede their progress to make those other arrests and take those two individuals into custody.”
Since XXXTentacion’s death, his music has surged on streaming platforms, sending both of his official albums into the Top 5 on the Billboard chart; the single “Sad!” also reached No. 1 last month. According to his associates, XXXTentacion had been close to finishing a new album, and had signed a $10 million deal for its release just weeks before he was killed.
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3 June 2018