Puerto Rican rapper Kevin Fret, called the “first openly gay pioneer” of Latin trap music, has died after being shot in San Juan Thursday.
The 24-year-old artist was riding a motorbike in the Santurce district when he was shot eight times at around 5:30 a.m. local time, according to El Nuevo Día.
Police did not identify the singer, the newspaper said, but Fret’s manager, Eduardo Rodriguez, confirmed that it was him in a press statement published in full on Billboard.
“Kevin was an artistic soul, a big-hearted dreamer. His passion was music, and still had a lot to do. This violence must stop,” he said.
“There are no words that describe the feeling we have and the pain that causes us to know that a person with so many dreams has to go. We must all unite in these difficult times, and ask for much peace for our beloved Puerto Rico.”
The video for Fret’s first single, “Soy Así,” was released last spring, and has more than 660,000 views on YouTube.
Fret, who has more than 124,000 followers on Instagram, told Paper magazine in an interview at the time that he had planned to use the video to come out as gay to the industry.
“I had everything in my mind, like the day I come out [in Latin trap] as a gay guy, I’m going to make my first video and I’m going to be showing my stomach, and I’m going to act like I don’t give a damn about what anybody has to say — with my blonde hair, my black nails, showing my stomach, glittery from head to toe,” he said.
Among fans to pay respect to the rapper on Twitter was Queer Eye stylist Jonathan Van Ness.
My So-Called Life actor Wilson Cruz said Fret’s death was “infuriating.”
LGBT activist Alex Orué tweeted, “Not all murders of LGBTIQ people are hate crimes, but if a LGBTIQ person is murdered, it is most likely a hate crime. I hope justice in Puerto Rico doesn’t dismiss lines of inquiry.”