KEY POINTS

  • Police ruled the death a homicide
  • The suspect remains at large
  • A family friend described Big Wan as a kind soul

Rising rapper Big Wan died in a shooting in Wisconsin, police have confirmed. He was 19.

Wan was shot around 9:05 a.m. Friday on a residential block in Milwaukee, a police report said. They ruled his death a homicide and were seeking leads on the suspect.

Hilda Alayeto, a longtime family friend of Wan, said the rap star was at home with his mother and grandmother when the shooting incident happened. He was reportedly in a bedroom upstairs when gunfire erupted into their residence. The suspect shot Big Wan several times and the rapper was pronounced dead at the scene.

After news about his death came out, several friends of Wan paid tribute to the late rapper.

Alayeto, who has been best friends with his mother, Rosemary Gonzalez, remembers Wan as a kind soul.

"He liked to make people laugh and smile," she said. "Dawan was very lovable. He's always kind to hug you, to make sure you are OK. He was almost like a big teddy bear."

Wan's manager Bagzz compared the rapper to The Notorious B.I.G., saying, "He was the type of young guy who could get in the grown people's club and perform and rock the whole club."

"Sometimes everything is so uptight when you're making music, and he would just come and loosen people up. He was just so humble. He just picked up on everything and he never disagreed. He listened. He was just focused on really making it," he added.

Wan's death came just months after he was included in a profile of Milwaukee's rising street rappers. The publication Pitchfork described Wan as the city's finest "s--t talker," saying "He's behind some of the most fun rap in a city that has no shortage of it right now."

Wan was one among the two dozen people charged by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Milwaukee for their alleged association with drug-trafficking gang Buffum Meinecke Boys last year. He was charged with selling/distributing/dispensing a controlled substance. The rapper pleaded guilty and was sentenced to time served, plus three years of supervised release.

The deadly shooting took place at Oxford High School in Michigan The deadly shooting took place at Oxford High School in Michigan Photo: GETTY IMAGES via AFP / SCOTT OLSON