Acting was a passion for Xavier Lofton.
Though he didn’t begin his acting career seriously until his late twenties, he was determined to put in the effort, frequently enrolling in multiple acting classes at the same time. According to Reginald Irving, CEO of the production company StarShaper, he was known for bringing a sense of joy to a classroom or set.
Irving and his co-stars were stunned to learn that Lofton had been murdered late Friday in the Austin neighborhood. “I couldn’t do nothing but scream,” Irving explained. “When Xavier was around everyone was happy.”
Lofton and a woman were driving south in the 200 block of South Cicero Avenue when someone in a beige SUV opened fire on their car just after 11 p.m. Friday, according to Chicago police.
Lofton was shot in the head, armpit, and thigh and was pronounced dead at Mount Sinai Hospital. According to police, the woman, 29, was shot in the head, arm, and back. In critical condition, she was rushed to Stroger Hospital.
Another driver, a 36-year-old man, was “caught in the crossfire,” and crashed into a parked vehicle, according to police. He was discovered with a gunshot wound to the back nearby and was also taken to Mount Sinai, where he died.
Irving called Lofton’s phone in a panic the next morning after learning about the shooting. According to Lofton, a post on his father’s Facebook confirmed the worst.
On Monday, police reported that no one was in custody.
“I just want him remembered as someone who did not bother nobody,” Irving explained. “He was not looking for a fight. When I became agitated, he would soothe me. He was all about happiness — one of his famous lines was “Life ain’t that bad.””
Lofton contacted Irving about a year ago, hoping to work with Irving’s company after completing another brief project. “Xavier was ecstatic to learn more about acting… He would leave one class to attend another “Irving stated.
Irving said he helped coach Lofton this year and collaborated with him on several projects, including a Tubi series. Lofton has become such a significant presence at the company that Irving is unsure how to proceed without him.
“I’ve never been through anything like this,” Irving admitted. “Where do we go from here, and how do we proceed? He was present in every class and on every set.”