The 24-year-old performer -- who is considered the first openly gay artist in the musical genre of Latin trap -- was shot in the hip and the head Thursday in San Juan, Puerto Rico at around 5:30 a.m., while riding a motorcycle, reports the New York Times. Another man seen with Fret reportedly fled the scene.
Fret was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. Police are considering whether the shooting was a hate crime or motivated by extortion.
Eduardo Rodriguez, the manager of the late singer, released a statement to media following Fret's death.
"Kevin was an artistic soul, a big-hearted dreamer. His passion was music, and [he] still had a lot to do," Rodriguez stated. "This violence must stop. There are no words that describe the feeling we have and the pain that causes us to know that a person with so many dreams has to go. We must all unite in these difficult times, and ask for much peace for our beloved Puerto Rico."
Puerto Rico is in the midst of "a crisis of violence," an FBI official, Charge Douglas Leff, declared the day before Fret's killing in an interview with NotiUno630, a local radio station. At least two dozen people have been killed in the U.S. territory within the past two weeks.
Fret was a gender-nonconforming pioneer in Latin trap, a genre known for its machismo. In his queer anthem "Soy Asi" ("I'm Like This"), the crop top-wearing singer declared himself "the reincarnation of Frida Kahlo" and boasted of his makeup skills. Fret showed off these abilities in the video for Mike Duran's "Diferente," in which he wore long eyelashes and a sequin crown.
The gay artist was mourned on social media for his impact in both music and society.
"Kevin Fret was known not only for his music style but also image- who was breaking gender norms in #PuertoRico and stigma about being gay, gender nonconforming, and expressing gender identity freely - in a country where gay people still get mocked, bullied and killed," wrote activist Samy Nemir Olivares.
\u201cKevin Fret was known not only for his music style but also image- who was breaking gender norms in #PuertoRico and stigma about being gay, gender nonconforming, and expressing gender identity freely - in a country where gay people still get mocked, bullied and killed.\u201d