Authorities in Florida have arrested a suspect in the killing of rising rap star XXXTentacion, who was fatally shot in his luxury BMW electric car as he left an upscale motorcycle dealership.
Dedrick Devonshay Williams, 22, of Pompano Beach was arrested shortly before 7 p.m. Wednesday, the Broward Sheriff’s Office said in a news release sent Thursday morning. Jahseh Dwayne Onfroy, 20, who went by the stage name pronounced “Ex Ex Ex ten-ta-see-YAWN,” was gunned down Monday, bringing a violent end to a brief music career that was marked by controversy 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 an apparent robbery attempt.
XXXTentacion’s attorney, David Bogenschutz, said 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 in Deerfield Beach.
Williams is charged with first-degree murder without premeditation, a probation violation and for not having a valid driver’s license. He was being held without bond in the Broward County Jail on Thursday.
Court records show 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. Williams does not appear in the Florida Department of Corrections offender database.
An attorney for Williams was not listed in jail records.
No further details were immediately available.
XXXTentacion, who sported dreadlocks and facial tattoos, was a rising star. He notched a No. 1 album in March with his sophomore effort “?”and had a top 10 hit with “Sad!”
But he also generated controversy. In 2016, he was arrested on charges including home invasion for a 2015 incident, 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 baby-sitters. 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.”
Associated Press writer Curt Anderson contributed to this report from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.