Thousands of fans, friends, and family gathered at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla. on Wednesday (June 27) to celebrate the life and legacy of XXXTentacion.
Organized by his mother, the public memorial included an open-coffin viewing onstage as a way for fans to pay their respects to the 20-year-old rapper, born Jahseh Onfroy, who was shot and killed on June 18.
“He considered you all family, and I wanted to do something special for you all,” wrote Cleopatra Bernard, the rapper’s mother.
Dressed in a blue denim jacket, XXXTentacion laid in a dark polished coffin at center stage, surrounded by black flowers with metallic accents, reports The New York Times. A strict no-phone policy was enforced, but fans left thousands of messages on poster boards. A moving tribute video was also played featuring interviews, music videos, and footage from last week’s impromptu Los Angeles memorial.
Fans sing along to one of XXXTentation’s songs minutes before the viewing is supposed to start. pic.twitter.com/HtrojcBdBG
— Sara Marino (@saradmarino) June 27, 2018
“We wanted to say our last words and show our respect ’cause he helped us so much,” said 19-year-old fan Santino Coccia, who drove 18 hours from Philadelphia to be first in line. “His music was something to relate to when there was nothing else.”
XXXTentacion was fatally shot during an apparent robbery in Deerfield Beach, Fla. on Monday (June 18). A suspect has been arrested and charged with first-degree murder. Cops have also named a second person of interest, 22-year-old Robert Allen, in the murder investigation.