Rapper Ankhal was involved in a shooting in Puerto Rico on Tuesday night, when he suffered “multiple” gunshot wounds, the Fajardo Police Department confirmed to Billboard. Born Anthony Khalil Mercado Díaz, the 21-year-old is currently in critical condition, police say, along with a 25-year-old man who was also injured.
According to a preliminary police report, officers responded to a 911 call at around 10 p.m. and arrived to a neighborhood in Fajardo where they found the artist Ankhal with “multiple” gunshot wounds to his body. Ankhal was taken to a local hospital and then transferred to Río Piedras Medical Center “due to the severity of his injuries.” No arrests have been made and the investigation is ongoing.
The Puerto Rico-born singer-songwriter was signed to Farruko‘s indie label Carbon Fiber Music in 2019 when he was 19 years old. Earlier Wednesday (Feb. 23), Farruko took to social media to share a few emotional words about Ankhal, whom he considers a son.
“I have always seen you as my son with love and respect, I have not stopped praying for you since I found out what happened to you. I thank God that you are still alive,” Farruko, who most recently announced he’s focusing his career on preaching the word of God, wrote. “I feel guilty because I opened the doors to fame for you and although I did it with good intentions, not everyone knows how to handle this.”
According to the label’s website, Ankhal began writing music when he was 17 years old and kicked off his career rapping at FreeStyle Mania in his hometown. Before signing with Carbon Fiber Music, he first released music via Soundcloud. In the past, he’s collaborated with Farruko (“CFM Ganga Remix”), Jhay Cortez and Myke Towers, among other urbano stars.
Billboard reached out for comment, but Ankhal’s representatives declined to issue a statement on the situation.