Rapper offers to pay for funeral of aspiring rapper shot in hometown

Grammy-nominated Lucas grew up in Worcester, Mass.

By Harmeet Kaur, CNN
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

Joyner Lucas (R) attends the 61st Annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

WORCESTER, Massachusetts (CNN) - Rapper Joyner Lucas offered to pay for the funeral of an 18-year-old who was shot in his hometown of Worcester, Massachusetts, on Tuesday.

Tafar Lewis was an aspiring rapper who performed music under the name June Valentino. He was hanging out with a few friends as the city's Fourth of July fireworks were going on when someone pulled out a gun and shot him, his younger brother Donte Sharpe told CNN. Lewis was taken to the hospital where he died.

Grammy-nominated Lucas grew up in Worcester and posted about Lewis' death on Facebook.

"Senseless.. I wanna pay for his funeral. if you know his family, have them reach out to Danny Diaz and il [sic] take care of it," he wrote.

Sharpe confirmed that Lucas had called the family about covering the funeral costs, and described his brother Lewis as "goofy, funny and passionate about his music.

"He was going to make it one day," Sharpe said. "That was his dream."

According to the Telegram & Gazette, Worcester's daily newspaper, Lewis graduated high school in May.

Zachary Tyler, who runs the local music blog worcesterbumps.com, said he had known Lewis for nearly two years and that Lewis would "constantly" submit his music to the blog, asking for it to be featured.

"He was more devoted to music than anything," Tyler told CNN. "That's what he'd want to be known for. He wouldn't want to be known for the way he went out and the politics behind it."

Worcester police have not yet identified the shooter or a motive.

"It's very cliché to say, but he was just a kid that was just in the wrong place at the wrong time," Tyler added.

Worcester Police have not publicly identified Lewis as the victim of Tuesday's shooting, but said in a news release that officers found an 18-year-old seriously injured from a gunshot wound on Tuesday around 10:25 p.m.

"The eighteen-year-old victim was pronounced deceased at the hospital," the news release said.

Law enforcement officials are also investigating the shooting of a 19-year-old man that happened the same night Lewis was killed. That victim was taken to the hospital and police said his wounds are not believed to be life-threatening.

CNN has made several calls to Worcester Police for comment.

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