LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Hundreds of young people gathered in the Fairfax District of Los Angeles Tuesday night to remember a rapper killed during an apparent robbery this week, prompting police to declare it an unlawful assembly.
Fans of murdered rapper XXXTentacion descended on trendy Melrose Avenue near Fairfax, shutting down traffic as they danced and lit candles on the street for an artist many said was an inspiration to them.
“He’s a very inspirational person to me, and his music really helped me through, like, really tough times in my life,” fan Lesley Soto told CBS2 News as she held up a drawing dedicated to Florida rapper. “He talks about a lot of real problems and problems he’s going through, as well, that I can relate to, and I think that’s why, like, his music brings me comfort, and it makes me feel more close to him.”
Police in riot gear could be seen firing “less than lethal” rounds to disperse the crowd Tuesday, with hundreds of people running down the street to get away. Some retaliated by throwing objects such as water bottles at the officers.
CBS2 video showed numerous people standing on top of a moving vehicle as it tried to get through the crowd. As officers began firing tear gas rounds, video showed the crowd stampeding down Melrose. At one point, one person jumped onto the sidewalk from a rooftop, landing on a female pedestrian. That woman was injured from the stunt and taken to a hospital to be treated.
The 20-year-old artist, born Jahseh Dwayne Onfroy, was killed Monday in an apparent robbery at a motorcycle shop in Deerfield, Florida. He was found shot and pronounced dead at a local hospital.
XXXTentacion made headlines in May when the music-streaming app Spotify announced it was removing the rapper, along with singer R. Kelly, from its playlists due to its anti-hate policy. Onfroy was awaiting trial for allegedly beating his pregnant girlfriend at the time of his death.