Anthony Naiboa was born in New York City. He lived in Manhattan with his parents and siblings before the family moved to Far Rockaway in Queens.
When Anthony was a toddler, his parents noticed he wasn’t communicating and wasn’t developing at the same rate his siblings had developed at. Doctors diagnosed him with autism.
Anthony’s father says his son’s autism made it hard for him to make friends growing up. He also says Anthony was sad at times and would ask what happened to make him different from others.
Despite those moments, Anthony loved having a good time and had four brothers and sisters he was close with. Family members say he loved to dance and was always smiling.
The Naiboas moved to Tampa when Anthony was 10. Anthony was placed in a class of students who needed special instruction, but he didn’t like it. His father says Anthony was bored and didn’t feel challenged. He also wanted to be independent and walk to lunch by himself instead of in a line with the other students.
Anthony’s parents worked with his teachers in middle school to come up with a plan that would challenge Anthony more, let him go to different classrooms and walk to lunch alone. His high school teachers didn’t like that plan initially, but eventually they let him try it out.
Anthony was soon in general classes without ESE instruction. He later overcame the odds and graduated from Middleton High School with a full diploma.
Instead of going right on to college, Anthony decided to get a job. He was a parking attendant for a year before getting laid off. When he was down in the dumps, Anthony turned to music. He produced beats under the name James Firefox and uploaded them to SoundCloud, where he had almost 600 followers.
In 2017, Anthony got a new job helping package supplies for hurricane victims in Puerto Rico.
Anthony Naiboa was on his way home from that job on Thursday, Oct. 19 when he was shot and killed by a single round just before 8 p.m. The 20-year-old had just gotten off a bus and was walking on North 15th Street when he was shot.
Police found his body in front of the home of Benjamin Mitchell.