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Florida Rapper Julio Foolio Shot and Killed in Tampa Hotel Ambush During Birthday Celebration

Florida rapper Julio Foolio, whose real name was Charles Jones, was shot and killed early Sunday morning in the parking lot of a Holiday Inn in Tampa. The tragic incident occurred around 4:40 a.m. as Foolio, celebrating his 26th birthday, was ambushed along with three others who were also shot but survived.

According to Tampa Police Department spokesperson Jonee Lewis, officers were called to the Holiday Inn Tampa North following reports of gunfire. Upon arrival, they found two vehicles that had been shot at and four individuals with gunshot wounds. Jones was pronounced dead at the scene, while the other victims were transported to a local hospital and are reported to be in stable condition.

The rapper, who boasted over 1 million followers on Instagram and had a significant presence in the music streaming world with hits like “Voo Doo,” had been in Tampa to celebrate his birthday. The celebration initially took place at an Airbnb but was cut short by police due to excessive occupancy. Jones and his party then relocated to the Holiday Inn, where the fatal shooting occurred.

Jones’ attorney, Lewis Fusco, confirmed the rapper’s death, stating that Foolio was “reportedly ambushed” in the hotel’s parking lot. Fusco added that Foolio had been targeted in multiple attempts on his life before, highlighting the dangerous environment surrounding his music career.

Foolio was a prominent figure in Jacksonville’s rap scene, known for his involvement in the local drill rap genre, which often features lyrics about gang violence. His affiliation with the KTA gang and its rivalry with the ATK gang, which includes another well-known Jacksonville rapper, Yungeen Ace, added a layer of danger to his life. This violent feud has resulted in several deaths over the years, including Foolio’s cousin and three teenagers in a 2018 gang-related shooting.

In April 2021, Foolio survived an attempt on his life when he was grazed by a bullet at his recording studio in Jacksonville. Despite these incidents, he continued to build his career, amassing nearly 1 million monthly listeners on Spotify.

The investigation into Sunday’s shooting is ongoing. Tampa Police are reviewing surveillance footage from the hotel and have urged anyone with information to come forward. No arrests have been made, and the identities of the assailants remain unknown.

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