JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville man gunned down Wednesday in what's described as a gang-related shooting was an aspiring rapper with a criminal record who performed at a strip club hours earlier.
Willie Addison, 25, who went by the stage name Boss Goon, died of his injuries not long after he and five other individuals were dropped off at Memorial Hospital by a bullet-riddled sport-utility vehicle.
Addison was featured on a flyer for Tuesday night’s show at Paradise Gentlemen’s Club. YouTube and social media video clips show the artist toting guns, including an AK-47 style rifle, and rapping about his incarceration.
Though Mayor Lenny Curry has described Wednesday’s shooting as being both gang- and drug-related, Addison’s sister, Lola Richy, took exception to that characterization Thursday.
“Lil Willie was not and is not a gang member,” Richy told News4Jax. “Lil Willie was a rapper who spoke to people, so don’t get confused with him being a statistic or a product of his environment.”
A friend who spoke on the condition of anonymity said Addison was an up-and-coming rap artist who was focused on his music and turning his life around after getting out of prison.
"He loved to freestyle," the friend said. "He used to go on weekends and perform at his shows, but I know he was really passionate about his music and he wanted to become a rapper... that was his dream."
Addison and the rest of the SUV’s occupants left a show held at the strip club on Baymeadows Road early Wednesday shortly before the shooting unfolded, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.
The Sheriff’s Office said a Chevrolet Tahoe carrying the group was driving along Emerson Street near Spring Park Road when another vehicle pulled up and someone inside opened fire.
Surveillance cameras at Wacko’s Gentlemen’s Club filmed the moments leading up to the shooting. Video shows two vehicles following the SUV on Emerson before witnesses said they heard gunshots.
Authorities suspect the shooting victims, whose names have not been released, were targeted. At last check, one victim was listed in critical condition, while four others are expected to survive.
Corrections records show Addison, who’s described in court documents as having a gang affiliation, was released from prison last June following a six-year stint for burglary and perjury convictions.
According to Duval County court records, Addison was arrested on attempted murder and gun charges in 2010, but prosecutors later dropped the case.
Anyone with information about this shooting is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at (904) 630-0500 or Crime Stoppers at (866) 845-TIPS.