Two bodyguards protecting the rapper Juice Wrld at the time of his dramatic death Sunday have been arrested on gun charges, police said.
The 21-year-old rising star, whose real name was Jarad Anthony Higgens, died after suffering a “medical emergency” while making his way through Chicago’s Midway International Airport, having just disembarked from a private jet flight from California.
Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told The New York Post that Juice Wrld was with a group of about 10 to 12 people at the time of his death, including his entourage, aircraft staff and the two security guards who were found with weapons on them.
The security guards had a conceal and carry permit valid in the state of Illinois, but it didn’t allow them to bring the weapons into an airport. They were arrested and charged with misdemeanor gun violations, Guglielmi said. Their names have not been released.
No other contraband was found on any other member of the group, Guglielmi told the Post, adding that the group were “very cooperative.”
Meanwhile footage from inside the plane posted by fellow passenger DJ Akademiks has also emerged, but sheds little light on the mystery. It showed Juice Wrld looking alert and Akademiks posted, “He was in high spirits and looked happy.”
The rapper, whose hits include Hot 100 No. 2 “Lucid Dreams” and “All Girls are the Same” featuring Lil Yachty, suffered a seizure at the airport and was pronounced dead from a cardiac arrest after being seen “convulsing” at a private hangar at Chicago’s Midway International Airport.
He was bleeding from the mouth when paramedics responded to the scene, law enforcement sources told TMZ.
An autopsy is due to take place Monday.
Juice Wrld, whose music features frequent drug references, has said he started using codeine in 6th grade and spoke openly about prescription drug abuse over the years, saying he used pills such as Percocet and Xanax, according to Heavy.
In a tweet in June this year, he appeared to promise his girlfriend, Ally Lotti, that he would get clean.
Of getting sober from opiates, he once said, according to Billboard, “What do you expect if I’m a young dude that really loves music, really looks up to these artists? I didn’t have a man giving me no type of guidance. My father wasn’t in my life like that. So listening to this grown-ass man rap about lean, I’m like, ‘Well, that sounds really appealing.’”
Police said there were no signs of foul play and the other passengers aboard the aircraft are cooperating with authorities.
His girlfriend, Lotti, also appeared to have joined the rapper for the flight before his fatal medical episode. She posted video to her Instagram story on Saturday night of the group boarding the private plane.
The Chicago-born musician was named top new artist at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards in May.
His second album, Death Race for Love, debuted on top of the Billboard charts this year.