Rapper Julio Foolio fatally shot in Florida while celebrating 26th birthday

"His journey was marked by resilience and a deep-seated desire to strive for greatness," representative Lewis Fusco said.

Julio Foolio, the Florida rapper born Charles Jones and known for songs including "Crooks" and "Reach The Top," was fatally shot in a hotel parking lot in Tampa on Sunday. He was 26.

Lewis Fusco, a representative for the artist, confirmed the news to Entertainment Weekly on Monday and provided a statement that said, "Mr. Jones had been in Tampa to celebrate his birthday over the weekend. Law enforcement reports indicate that he initially stayed at an Airbnb but was asked to leave due to exceeding occupancy limits. He subsequently relocated to the Holiday Inn, where he was involved in an incident in the hotel parking lot and reportedly ambushed."

The Tampa Police Department said in a news release that officers responded to a 911 call reporting a shooting around 4:40 a.m. Sunday and arrived to find two vehicles that had been fired on, and four individuals who were injured in the shooting. Jones was pronounced dead at the scene, and the three wounded were transported to the hospital in stable condition.

<p>Julio Foolio/Instagram</p> Julio Foolio

Julio Foolio/Instagram

Julio Foolio

Fusco also paid tribute to Jones in a statement posted his Instagram stories.

"I am deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Foolio," he wrote. "While most people knew him as the controversial rapper and entertainer, I was fortunate enough to know Charles Jones, the man behind the public persona. He was a kid who grew up in challenging circumstances, determined to defy the odds by any means possible and succeed in all that he did. His journey was marked by resilience and a deep-seated desire to strive for greatness."

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As a rap artist, Jones had amassed 1.1. million followers on Instagram and nearly 1 million monthly listeners on Spotify. He first made waves with the release of his 2018 single "Coming Up" and continued to cultivate a following via social media platforms and a YouTube channel. His 10 albums included 2024's Resurrection.

In his Spotify artist profile, Jones said, "When I leave, I want to be known as the one kid that helped everybody and ain't expect nothing in return. 'He just wanted people to live.' You only get one life to live."

Jones alluded to previous attempts on his life in a January Instagram post, writing, "These last couple months/years of my life been tragic. God tryna send me a message multiple attempts on my life I keep surviving. I keep losing my bruddas to jail and graveyards but I know the most high doing everything for a reason he let me walk again for a reason."

The shooting remains an active police investigation.

Read the original article on Entertainment Weekly.